The Republic of Indonesia has a presidential system, with the President being the head of state and head of government. Since World War II, Indonesia's history has been turbulent, with challenges posed by natural disasters, corruption, separatism, a democratization process, and periods of rapid economic change.
Indonesia consists of hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups. A shared identity has developed, defined by a national language, ethnic diversity and religious pluralism within a majority Muslim population. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness and abundant natural resources. It has numerous active volcanoes and experiences frequent earthquakes. Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia, yet poverty remains widespread.
The government funds programmes to promote the health and welfare of women and children. Increasing numbers of women work in the field of national development, in organzations that focus and act on women's issues and concerns. Women are participating in higher education and some are becoming leaders in government agencies, as scholars, architects, doctors and engineers.
In 1926 the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in the Netherlands received an invitation from Monsignor Van Velsen in Batavia (Jakarta) to open houses in Indonesia. After gaining the necessary authorisations from the Congregation and the Vatican, in 1927 six sisters left Leiderdorp, Netherlands for Jakarta. The Ursuline Sisters met them after the long sea voyage, and they lived with these sisters for about two months. Then they moved into rented accommodation and began their work with women and girls. In the following year, 1928, three more sisters arrived in Indonesia from Netherlands.
Today the ministry of the sisters includes:
Good Shepherd Services for Women and Children (GSSWC Indonesia).
Anti-Trafficking Programmes in East NusaTenggara.
Empowerment Programmes, Prevention of Trafficking in Marau, Kalimantan.
Rural ministry in Flores.