Inequalities in Reproductive Health and Rights are also common in Indonesia, but there is hope

17 October 2017

Malang, 17 October 2017

Significant inequalities in reproductive health and family planning exist in Indonesia.  While the gaps have been narrowing since 2012, educated women, those from higher wealth quintiles and those residing in cities have greater access to contraceptive services than their counterparts with less education, from poor families or living in rural areas, respectively. These were among the findings from a study commissioned by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Indonesia, which analyzed data from the Indonesian Demographic and Health Surveys (IDHS) 1997-2012, Intercensal Survey (SUPAS) 2015, Socio-Economic Survey (SUSENAS) 2017, PMA 2015, and RPJMN Survey 2016.

The Indonesia study findings were presented during the launch of the UNFPA State of World Population (SWOP) Report, organized jointly by University of Brawijaya, BKKBN, and UNFPA in Malang, East Java today, 17 October 2017.  The launch was attended by approximately 350 policy makers and programme implementers from all provinces throughout Indonesia, academicians and a number of persons with disabilities. The SWOP report entitled “Worlds Apart: Reproductive Health and Rights in an age of Inequality” highlights inequalities in reproductive health and rights, its magnitude, challenges, and its possible solutions.

“Addressing multidimensional inequality from all directions is a must. The multiple actions include economic policy, legal systems, financial regulations and the social safety nets. Universal health care is one pathway to equality”, said Dr. Annette Sachs Robertson – UNFPA Representative in Indonesia during the launch. “Expanding universal health coverage more rapidly among the poorest 20 percent of the population – the furthest behind first – is critical”, she added.

In Indonesia, the inequalities in reproductive health and family planning, are not only caused by quality and coverage of information and services, but also by gender inequality. “The inability of women to decide themselves on whether, when, and the number of children she wants, and the male dominated society may cause the high unmet need of family planning”, said Dr. Surya Chandra Surapaty.


Panelists discussed current initiatives and means of reducing inequalities in reproductive health and family planning through coordinated and comprehensive interventions, which targeted first women, girls, and adolescents in remote areas, and eastern part of Indonesia, including Papua.