Indonesia’s reproductive health status has been greatly affected by the social, economic and political circumstances in the country since 1999. The Government of Indonesia (GOI) cited the economic crisis as the main cause for the failure of numerous sexual and reproductive health programmes. Another oft-referred-to challenge was the frequent changes in governmental leadership (three presidents within five years). As well, the negative effects of decentralisation, a process begun in 1999, are now beginning to show.
Poverty remains a major problem in Indonesia; the number of people living in poverty has increased from 22.5 percent in 1996 to 37.15 percent in 2001. Although the Government of Indonesia has frequently attempted to increase women’s access to the economy, this has been slow to happen because gender disparities have not been addressed. Consequently, programmes to enhance women’s status remain ineffective.