Indonesia’s internet gender gap is reflected in a divergence of interests between men and women. Although both men and women place equal importance on gaining skills from online education, many more women also look to gain confidence from it.

Insights Summary

Indonesian women use the internet much less than men, but one-third of them say they’d like to use it more; their access to mobile devices has rapidly grown in the past few years. For them, a key benefit of going online is communication, which complements their strong values around family and harmony.

They’re also interested in online learning to build their confidence and skills. Juggling workplace frustrations like long hours and lack of credit with chores and childcare at home, many Indonesian women see opportunity in self-employment. They’re also more open to the benefits of online education. Digital trainings could help them gain business skills while still maintaining their domestic responsibilities.

Internet Usage

A lower percentage of Indonesian women use the internet on a daily basis.

Country Women Men
Korea 100% 95%
Japan 99% 99%
Australia 97% 95%
Thailand 96% 95%
Philippines 64% 60%
India 52% 62%
Indonesia 48% 61%
Base: Internet users

One-third of Indonesian women who use the internet today would like to use it more, but are held back because of the difficulty in finding what they want, and a lack of relevant content.

“What would enable you to use the internet more often, or to do more things?”
  • “If it was easier to find what I want online”:52%
  • “If there was more on the internet that I was interested in”:45%
  • “If I had more leisure time”:44%
Base: Internet users (women)

Indonesian women’s mobile access has grown rapidly.

“Which of these devices do you regularly use to access the internet?”
Year Smartphone Laptop Desktop
2014 72% 22% 10%
2017 93% 11% 4%
Base: Internet users (women)

Smartphones are the preferred device across age groups.

“Which of these devices do you regularly use to access internet?”
Age groups Smartphone Computer
18-29 93% 17%
30-39 90% 8%
40-55 95% 16%
Base: Internet users (women)

Indonesian women use the internet mostly for social networking and to communicate using messaging apps, and less as a tool for learning and self-development.

Daily online activities
  • Social networking:45%
  • Learning:15%
Base: Internet users (women)

Running out of data seems to be less of a concern than just a few years ago, as women have been doing significantly more data-intensive activities online recently. This may present opportunities to provide content in a richer format, including videos and high-resolution photos.

Top three daily internet activities showing uplift between 2014 and 2017
Activity 2014 2017
Upload videos, pictures, music 6% 16%
Listen to music / radio 6% 15%
Communicate via video 2% 10%
Base: Internet users (women)


Indonesian men have different views on equality at work versus home. Both men and women think that household and parenting responsibilities should be shared, but when it comes to the workplace, men are less supportive of working mothers.

Percentage of people who agree with these statements
“Men and women should both take responsibility in child-rearing.” Indonesia APAC
Women 90% 86%
Men 86% 80%
“Women should be able to remain in full-time employment once they are mothers.” Indonesia APAC
Women 63% 77%
Men 56% 69%
Base: All

Household and child-rearing responsibilities fall primarily on women.

“Who is mainly responsible for taking care of your child/children?”
Main child-rearing responsibility Myself My partner / spouse Split between myself and partner Another family member
Women 82% 4% 13% 1%
Men 6% 72% 20% 2%
Base: Married and have child/children
“Who is mainly responsible for the daily chores in your household?”
Main household chore responsibility Myself My partner / spouse Split between myself and partner Another family member Domestic help
Women 90% 2% 5% 2% 1%
Men 8% 82% 6% 3% 1%
Base: Married

Compared to women across the region, those in Indonesia have stronger values around family, harmony and conformity.

Percentage of people who agree with these statements
Statement APAC Indonesia
“It is important for me to be like my family and friends.” 57% 80%
“I make decisions based on what will make my family proud.” 66% 82%
“It’s my duty to ensure those around me advance in life as I do.” 60% 71%
Base: Women


Far fewer Indonesian women than men intend to work full time in a company or organization, but many are interested in self-employment. Given their strong family values, this could be a way for them to balance work with family expectations.

“How do you plan to work 5 years from now?”
Full-time for an organization Part-time for an organization Self-employed Not working Don’t know
Women 9% 8% 39% 31% 13%
Men 41% 12% 41% 0 6%
Base: Ages 25-34

Among Indonesian women, internet users are more willing to work (including self-employment) than non-users.

“Thinking 5 years from now, what do you intend to be doing from a work point of view?”
Any employment Self-employment
Internet users 61% 42%
Non-internet users 49% 35%
Base: Women ages 25-34

Connected women are more confident in their field of work – from their skills to their future career.

Percentage of people who agree with these statements
Statement Non-internet users Internet users
“I have the skills available to get the type of job I want.” 53% 67%
“I have my future career plan.” 50% 73%
“There are many jobs available for me.” 34% 57%
Base: Women

Women who want to be self-employed are less optimistic about work culture. It’s possible that these views motivate them to start their own businesses.

Percentage of people who agree with these statements
Statement Intend to work for a company Intend to be self-employed
“I am fairly credited and promoted for the work I do.” 60% 48%
“I believe that working hours will become shorter in the future.” 66% 55%
“There are many jobs available for me.” 57% 50%
Base: Women who intend to be self-employed and who intend to work for a company.

Online Learning

More than 30 percent of women are interested in online education, and the level of interest is even higher among women who use the internet and intend to be self-employed.

Percentage of people who would consider online education
  • Women:33%
  • Women – Online users:49%
  • Women – Online users who intend to be self-employed women:53%
Base: Women

Interest areas for online learning differ by gender. While men’s interest is focused on business and technology, women prefer to study topics such as beauty and fashion.

Top three topics of interest for online education
  • Women
    • Beauty:1
    • Fashion:2
    • Health Sciences & Nutrition:3
  • Men
    • Business:1
    • Engineering:2
    • IT:3
Base: Internet users who are interested in online education.

Both sexes want to gain practical skills through online education, but women also look to build their confidence.

Desired outcomes of online education
Women Men
Practical skills 48% 57%
Personal confidence 48% 28%

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