Jakarta - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

There are problems but many might not affect an expat in the expat bubble. - Sep 2020

Indonesians have had historical bias against those of Chinese heritage. As a patriarchal society, women are less involved in public affairs. That said, there are many women in politics and private business. Definitely not like Saudi Arabia, for example. - Feb 2018

Not that I experienced. - Jan 2015

In the vast majority of cases, no. However, there is a worrying increase of intolerance here -- or, rather, a situation where a small minority of radicals are allowed to exert undue influence over society -- sometimes violently -- with impunity. There have been cases of minority religious groups beaten and even killed, with no justice served, and of churches not getting their licenses, etc.

There are some female professionals in Jakarta, less so than in the United States, and outside of Jakarta women's roles can become more traditional. At parties I am often mistakenly taken to be a diplomat's wife instead of a diplomat in my own right, but once I set the record straight I can be just as effective and taken seriously. - Jun 2012

Outspoken non-muslims face trouble, tho on the surface all is calm. Ethnic Chinese face pogroms every 25 years or so. There is freedom of worship for all but non-mainstream muslim sects and jews. - Jan 2012

This is a hard one to answer. On a day-to-day basis, there seemed to be a "live and let live" attitude, and people seemed to get along. However, for years, radical groups (asmall minority of Indonesians) such as the Islamic Defenders front has bullied and physically attacked non-Muslims as well as other Muslims they deemed insufficiently pious or not true Muslims. The ethnically ChineseIndonesians are seemed to be envied and sometimes intensely disliked. Various inter-ethnic tensions made some parts of Indonesia effectively off-limits to us. Since 2000, there have been attacks on Christian churches, and there have been recent reports of neighborhood protests when groups try to establish churches. Foreigners ("bule") are themselves the object of various misconceptions, some good, some annoying, but mostly innocuous. When we were there, there were some op-ed articles demonizing Israel and Jews in general. (Reporting on the Middle East tended to very one-sided.)The few Indonesian Jews I knew seemed to keep a very low profile. The Hindu Balinese and other non- Muslim groups have also considered such things as the so-called "anti-pornography bill" as assaults on their culture. Yet.... people seemed to get along, so again, I find this a hard question to answer. - Jul 2011

Not that I have observed. - Jul 2011

Not for an expat. - Dec 2010

No. - Nov 2010

Indonesians are usually tolerant people. - Jul 2010

Yes, as with most of Asia, lighter skin is prized. For those easily identified as foreigners, catcalls on the street may be uncomfortable, but I never found it to be aggressive (compared to other countries). Indonesia does have pockets of religious violence, but rarely in Jakarta. - Mar 2008

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