What inequality looks like
As part of the ongoing transition to democracy, Indonesia’s government has worked to create an inclusive environment protects traditional cultures and respects the rights of women and girls, ethnic minorities, and the poor. Important new policies have been put in place, and vibrant civil society movements are striving to uphold these hard-won reforms.
Today, Indonesia’s democracy is at a crossroads. The reform process continues to face significant resistance, and putting policy into practice has been difficult. The future depends on effective implementation of reform. Without it, new policies can do little to address deep-seated inequality—the country’s abundant natural resources will not be used for the benefit of all and groups that have traditionally been excluded from decision making and access to economic opportunities will continue to be left out.
Support for meaningful, sustainable change
Yet solutions are within reach. Over the past decade, an empowered civil society has built a sustained and growing anticorruption movement. If corruption and tax evasion by the wealthy can be curbed, many new opportunities will open up for the poor, particularly women, to benefit from public and natural resources at the national and local levels. Minority groups are demanding greater recognition and achieving results. In 2013, for example, Indonesia's Constitutional Court ruled in favor of the traditional land rights of adat (customary) communities. And the country's vibrant social media has opened new space for discussion and debate.
We believe that strengthening democratic institutions, pushing for greater government accountability, and—in the process—creating opportunities for fairer markets will help safeguard the critical process of reform in the world's largest Muslim-majority nation.