Dr Iwu Dwisetyani Utomo

BA Psych University of Indonesia, Jakarta, MSc Demography Florida State University, Florida, PhD ANU
College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Reproduction 111404
  • Culture, Gender, Sexuality 200205
  • Studies Of Asian Society 169903
  • Social Change 160805
  • Demography 1603

Research interests

Young people
Transition to Adulthood
Ageing in rural Indonesia

Reproductive health
Gender and sexual health
Gender issues in Indonesia, East Timor and PNG
Marriage formation
Family planning

Maternal and child health


Iwu Utomo graduated from the Demography Program at the Australian National University in 1998. She returned to the Demography Program as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 2000 when she received the Merdeka Fellowship Award from the Australian Government-DETYA. She then started teaching Gender and Population and Social Research Design for graduate students in Demography. Her first appointment at ANU was with the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (2002-2008) where she worked closely with Prof Terence Hull on issues relating to Gender, Sexuality and Health. With Prof Hull and Prof Peter McDonald, Iwu has been successful in gaining ARC funding for Harmful Sexual Practices in Southeast Asia (2005-2008) and Indonesian Young Adults Transition to Adulthood Study (2008-2011; 2012-2015). Her longitudinal study on Transition to Adulthood in Greater Jakarta has also been awarded funding from WHO, Ford Foundation and National University of Singapore.  In 2008 she received the Australian Development Research Award from AusAID to work with Prof McDonald and Prof Hull on Integrating Gender and Reproductive Health Issues in the Indonesian National Curricula. In 2014 Utomo become a research associate with CEPAR and started her new research on ageing in rural Indonesia (Gunung Kidul, Kebumen and Agam). Her research has concentrated on Indonesia and more lately on Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea.

As a fresh Psychology graduate from the University of Indonesia in 1983, Iwu was directly recruited as a lecturer at the faculty before she started her career as a bureaucrat with the Indonesian State Ministry of Population and Environment (1985-2002). She has also worked as a Gender Specialist with the Asian Development Bank, CIDA, AusAID, Australian Reproductive Health Alliance, Marie Stopes International, and Care Timor Leste. She also has won many awards, to name a few, in 2010 she won the Outstanding ANU Women Award as well as the Best Supervisor Award and in 2012 the ANU Inspiring Women.

Researcher's projects


  1. Transition to Adulthood in Indonesia Longitudinal Survey (2010; 2014; 2018)
  2. Integrating Gender and Reproductive Health Issues in the Indonesian National School Curricula: Challenges for Moslem Societies
  3. Meeting the Needs of Older Persons in Rural Indonesia (Survey of Older Persons and their Children in 10 villages). 
  4. Gender Dimensions of Vaginal Practices in Four Countries (South Africa, Mozambique, Indonesia and Thailand)
  5. Using National Survey to Uncover and Assess Potentially Harmful Sexual Practices in Southeast Asia
  6. Gender and Sexual Health in Southeast Asia

Current student projects

Previous PhD students that have graduated 

  1. Impacts of rural-urban migration on family relationships and gender relations in mother-migrant and father-left-behind families in Vietnam. Bich Ha Dao 
  2. Inter racial marriage: a case study of Kmer and Kinh couples in Vietnam. Lan Thai Huynh Phuong
  3. Caring for the elderly in Vietnam, a gender dimension. Thu Cuc Hoang
  4. Citizenship and the right to stay: the case of stateless children in temporary shelter areas along the Thailand Myanmar border, Ladawan Khaikham
  5. Reducing the risk of HIV infection in Paupa and West Papua. Wienta Diarsvitry.
  6. Gender and wellbeing among the elderly in Lampung, Indonesia. Safrina
  7. Abortion in Indonesia. Imma Aryanti.
  8. Sexual perceptions and practices of young people in Northern Thiland. Arunrat Tangmunkongvarakul


Current PhD student projects

  1. Ageing in Rural Indonesia. Muhammad Absor Ulil
  2. The implementation of gender-related treaties in Indonesia: Challenges for gender equity. Lynda Wardhani
  3. Women in Indonesia. Kavitha Robinson.

Past student projects

Previous Master students that have gratuated

  1. Distance Matters: Upward and Downward Exchange of Support between Elderly and Migrant and Non-migrant Children in Rural Indonesia. Nur Cahyadi. 2017.
  2. Pattern and determinant of successful school to work transition of young people in Islamic developing countries: Evidence from Egypt, Jordan and Bangladesh. Muhammad Absor.
  3. Unintended pregnancy among ever-married women in Indonesia: an analysis of the 2007 IDHS. Nur Jaeni
  4. Contraceptive Use pattern among married women in Indonesia. Ria Rahayu
  5. Indonesian married women’s desire to have more children and their birth spacing pattern. Ade Isyanah
  6. Premarital sex patterns and its determinants among unmarried young adults in Indonesia. Fitrilailah Mokui
  7. The Determinants of Infant Survival in Indonesia: Comparison Before and After Decentralisation Based on Six Rounds of the Indonesian Demographic and Health Survey 1987-2012. Fauzi Muttaqin. 2016.  
  8. Psychological Distress and Anxiety among Elderly in Rural Indonesia. Anggra N. Cahyo. 2019.
  9. Determinants of Fertility in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. Melianus M. Taebenu. 2019.

Current Master student project



Return to top

Updated:  12 April 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers