Indonesia is an archipelago of approximately 17,000 islands with a total population of 239 million people. The country is home to about 1340 ethnicities with different views on gender and sexuality issues and varying degrees of access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including relevant healthcare services.
Access to SRH services varies from one area toanother, subject to socio-economic conditions, geographic distance, and cultural beliefs. The country’s reports on the International Convention on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action have documented the interlink ages between poverty and health as obstacles to improving sexuality and reproductive health services, as well as other obstacles related to ethnicity, differences in perceiving socio-cultural beliefs, and gender inequality. Besides these, attempts to reduce the high maternal mortality ratio (MMR) remain unsuccessful and still pose problems to improving women’s quality of life.
These obstacles create difficulties for NGOs to engage in advocacies for SRHR regulation and policy reforms after the downfall of the Soeharto government in 1998. The lack of a favourable environment for NGO participation in policy reforms affected progress in addressing universal access to SRHR for women and young people.