Gender Justice Education for Marginalised Women

Country Profile: Indonesia


249,866,000 (2013)

Official Language

Bahasa Indonesia

Other spoken languages

Javanese, Sundanese, Batak and Bugis

Poverty headcount ratio at 2 PPP$ a day (% of population)

43.3 (2013)

Access to Primary Education – Total Net Intake Rate (NIR)

96% (2006)

Total Youth Literacy Rate (15-24 years, 2015)
  • Men: 98.9%
  • Women: 99.1%
  • Total: 99%
Adult Literacy Rate (15 years and over, 2015)
  • Male: 96.3%
  • Female: 91.5%
  • Total: 93.9%


Programme Overview

Programme TitleGender Justice Education for Marginalised Women
Implementing OrganizationThe Circle of Women’s Alternative Education (CWALE, of Lingkaran Pendidikan Alternative Perempuan or KAPAL Perempuan)
Language of InstructionBahasa
FundingACCESS-Australia and KAPAL (self-funding)
Date of Inception2003

Context and Background

Indonesia has made impressive strides in meeting the global Education for All (EFA) targets. In addition to enrolment rates of 96 per cent in primary education, the total literacy rate for young people and adults was 99 per cent in the period 2000–2006. However, there are gender disparities with regards to access to education and therefore, to literacy rates, due to socio-cultural and economic factors. These disparities are clearly manifested by the literacy rates among male and female adults (15 years and above) which stood at 95 per cent and 87 per cent respectively in the period 2000–2006. In principle therefore, two-thirds of the 15 million illiterate people in Indonesia are women.

Although it is widely recognised that eliminating gender disparities with regards to access to education is essential for long-term social and economic development, progress towards this objective has been limited as evidenced by, for example, the limited range of adult literacy programmes targeting women. As a result, women continue to have limited access to education compared to their male counterparts. This has, in turn, not only perpetuated their marginalisation from leadership positions at community and national levels but has also led to the feminisation of poverty as women have restricted capacity to compete with men in the economic sphere. Moreover, illiteracy also limits women's ability to claim their basic rights including access to social services and property. Thus, recognising the challenges facing illiterate and often poor women, the Circle of Women’s Alternative Education (KAPAL Perempuan) initiated The Gender Justice Education for Marginalised Women Programme (GJEMWP) which offers marginalised women alternative means to access to education.

Gender Justice for Marginalised Women Programme (GJEMWP)

The GJEMWP was initiated in 2003 to provide literacy, education and life skills training to marginalised women in urban slum and rural communities and women migrant workers. To date, the programme has been implemented in the Klender and Rawajati slum communities in Jakarta and has benefited an average of 100 learners each year. Plans are under way to expand the programme to other marginalised communities. While ACCESS-Australia provided initial project funding (for the period 2003–2004), the GJEMWP has since evolved into a wholly community-driven project, with members of KAPAL Perempuan and two women's schools providing the necessary funding.

The GJEMWP is an integrated programme which offers opportunities for basic and functional literacy and life skills training in, for example, leadership, income generation and health education. Most importantly, the programme also offers training in reproductive health, childcare, psychological support and other care services. In short, the project endeavours to promote holistic development and empowerment of marginalised women.

Aims and Objectives

The GJEMWP endeavours to:

Programme Implementation: Approaches and Methodologies

The implementation of the programme was preceded by and based on the results of a needs assessment survey which identified key basic education needs of women. These basic needs formed the basis for the design and development of the two principal programme modules. In addition, the survey sought to identify formal and potential women leaders who would spearhead the implementation of the programme within their communities. This community-based element was also intended to publicise the programme and mobilise women to participate in programme activities. Following the survey, community-based women's groups were established and these have acted as the focal points of learning and programme expansion ever since.

Recruitment of Facilitators

A network of community-based facilitators are, primarily, responsible for programme implementation and monitoring the learning progress of participants. KAPAL Perempuan provides facilitators with training in adult teaching methodologies and programme modules. Thereafter, each facilitator is assigned a group of 15 learners with a possibility of individual mentoring for learners with particular needs. Facilitators are paid a monthly salary of Rp. 2000,000 (US$220).

Teaching/Learning Methods

Training is based on two modules which were designed and developed by KAPAL Perempuan in consultation with the communities. In order to promote effective community-based and participatory learning, women were divided into study groups. These groups, with assistance from programme facilitators, conducted learning sessions on a weekly basis at a time and place agreed upon by each participant. Learners were assessed through monthly tests and a final examination at the end of the six months.

In addition, study groups were also used to promote dialogue on matters which are pertinent to women's everyday lives such as reproductive health, childcare and community participation as well as providing psychosocial support to group members.

Programme Impact and Challenges

In general, annual internal evaluations revealed that most women were eager for the programme to continue within their communities. This enthusiasm is aptly demonstrated by their resolve to continue funding the programme from their private resources. More specifically, the internal evaluations identified the following as the key programme impacts:


The sustainability of the programme is dependent on the enthusiastic support it has received to date from the community but especially from women, who as stated above are now the key financiers of the programme. In addition, the programme has been replicated in North Celebes (July 2005 to September 2006) and Aceh (ongoing). The commitment by the government to provide financial assistance is yet another demonstration of the programme's sustainability as this would, potentially, make it possible to expand it into other marginalised areas.


Contact Details

Dr Yanti Muchtar
Kompleks Kalibata Baru Blok C no.6, Jl. Rawajati Timur X,
Jakarta Selatan 12750, Indonesia
Tel: (62-21) 7988561
Email: d_yanti (at)

Last update: 12 April 2011