Explaining gender gaps in Indonesian legislative committees

Ella Prihatini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)


Parliamentary committees are central in most modern legislatures in the world as key decisions are often made at this level. Consequently, women’s substantial representation in parliament is frequently measured by the appointment of women in powerful and prestigious committees. However, there is relatively little knowledge about how the politics of committee assignment operates, especially in Asian democracies, home to the majority of the world’s women. In this article, the Indonesian case is used to explore two issues, which are the gendered division of committees and the impact of Islam as a party ideology in assigning women to committees. Using a quantitative approach, this article examines a unique dataset of committee assignments in Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR) from 2004 to 2014. Interviews with sitting parliamentarians are also used to complement the statistical analysis. The results show that gender bias is an enduring characteristic of Post-Suharto parliamentary politics and Islam as a party ideology is not solely accountable for this disparity in committee allocations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-229
Number of pages24
JournalParliamentary Affairs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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