Gender equality in Southeast Asia: a comparative study of Indonesia and the Philippines
Hauser, Cassandra E.
Barma, Naazneen H.
Mabry, Tristan J.
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This thesis is a comparative study of how three important factors--social, political, and economic inclusion--affect gender equality and inequality in the Philippines and in Indonesia. The disparity between these two countries as published in the 2016 Global Gender Gap Report serves as the analytical basis for this comparison. On this scale, which assigns a number from 0 (gender inequality) to 1 (gender equality), the Philippines ranks in the top five percent of the 144 countries assessed for gender equality, with a score of 0.786 (7 of 144), whereas Indonesia ranks in the lower half with a score of 0.682 (88 of 144). The two countries share similarities on this issue: their respective women’s movements began within a decade of one another, and the first female presidents of each country were seen as moral figures who could facilitate the transition to working democracy. Yet these countries also differ in terms of majority religion and population size. A major finding of this thesis is that the women’s movements in the Philippines and in Indonesia were more productive in advancing the women’s agenda than female leaders, although for different reasons. This thesis concludes by reflecting on main findings and providing policy recommendations and suggestions for future research.
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