Record number of women candidates in Indonesia's legislative election, but challenges remain

Ms Dwi Septiawati Djafar (third from left) of the Prosperous Justice Party with her constituents. She is running for office in Bekasi, Karawang and Purwakarta regencies in West Java to push for the empowerment of women, children and families. The upc
Ms Dwi Septiawati Djafar (third from left) of the Prosperous Justice Party with her constituents. She is running for office in Bekasi, Karawang and Purwakarta regencies in West Java to push for the empowerment of women, children and families. The upcoming polls will mark her fourth attempt at becoming an MP.PHOTO: COURTESY OF DWI SEPTIAWATI DJAFAR

A record number of women are vying to become MPs in Indonesia's legislative election next month, but they continue to face an uphill battle to make their voices heard.

A total of 3,194 female candidates are in the running for 575 seats in the country's House of Representatives (DPR), making up 40 per cent of nearly 8,000 legislative hopefuls - a historic high.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2019, with the headline 'Record number of women candidates, but challenges remain'. Subscribe