Indonesia Inquiry

Closing the Gender Gap (?)

June 23, 2011 Communities and Cultures Travel & Living Abroad YouTube Videos 0

Did you know that International Women’s Day (March 8th) has been observed since the early 1900s? 

If you are interested in what this day means and its history, check out http://www.internationalwomensday.com/

The United Nations chose Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women” as the global theme for International Women’s Day 2011.

In the following YouTube video, VOA’s Brian Padden talked to two women scientists in Indonesia, where the gap is said to be closing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYTdd4SAc0w

Though there appear to be improvements in closing the gender gap in Indonesia in the field of science, the video also mentions challenges related to literacy rates and poverty, which partially account for the gender gap in other fields.

Questions:

What is (or should be) the role of the Indonesian government in closing the gender gap?

What can companies do to encourage women applicants and foster “gender-friendly” workplaces?

What do “empowerment” and “gender equality” mean and/or look like?

How can schools facilitate the personal and professional development of young girls and women?

What connections, if any, should be made or need to be made between gender and religion with regard to closing the gender gaps in education and employment?

How are women’s interests represented formally in politics?  Who is actually engaging in representation, and why?

Should (or can) international organizations provide resources to close the gender gap in developing countries such as Indonesia?

What are the empirical and normative consequences for not closing the gender gap?  In other words, what’s at stake?