Results of Komnas Perempuan's Study on Changes in Household Dynamics during the Covid-19 Pandemic Period
The Urgency of Human Rights Perspectives with Special Attention to Women's Vulnerability in Policy and the Implementation of New Normal
Media Release, 2 June 2020
The National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) encourages an inclusive and inter-sectional perspective on human rights (HAM), with special attention to women, in the application of the New Normal policies. Without such a special attention, policies of New Normal would result in new vulnerabilities to women's living conditions, including violence.
These vulnerabilities potential are evidenced by Komnas Perempuan's online survey findings about Changes in Household Dynamics during the COVID-19 Pandemic Period which ran from April to May 2020. In addition to being vulnerable to COVID-19 exposure, women and other vulnerable groups in the family also bear specific social, economic, and psychological impacts related to their social roles in the family and community. Using the women's human rights approach, it is expected that women will be better protected, including when dealing with multiple burdens, such as health, poverty, exploitation, and violence.
The results of the online survey identified that the vulnerability in workload multiplied, and violence against women were mainly faced by women coming from groups earning less than 5 million rupiah per month, informal sector workers, aged between 31-40 years old, married, and located in 10 provinces with the highest exposure to COVID-19. They are the most affected groups both in terms of physical and psychological health, social and economy in a household, and vulnerable to domestic violence.
The burden of domestic work during COVID-19 is generally borne by women, compared to men. Most respondents (66% of 2,285 respondents), both men and women, mentioned that the burden of domestic work is increasing. The number of women doing household work with a duration of more than 3 hours are four times than of male respondents, trans women and respondents who choose not to identify their sex. 1 in 3 respondents has known to report that the increased domestic work resulted in increased stress.
Psychological and economic violenc dominates domestic violence. Nearly 60% of respondents who answered that violence became increasingly happened during COVID-19, came from groups earning under 5 million rupiah per month. For 100% of respondents who answered that they are experiencing an increased physical and sexual violence, and for 75% of respondents who answered that they are experienced an increasing psychological and economic violence during COVID-19, they also answered that they experienced an increasing expenditure during a pandemic . This indicates the effect of economic pressure as the potential cause for violence in the household.
Only 10% of respondents chose to report their cases to service providers during Covid-19. Most of them prefer to remain silent or only tell their relatives, friends and / or neighbors. Respondents who did not report their cases were mostly had a tertiary educational background, whether its under-graduate or post-graduate. Almost 69% of respondents were also did not save contacts of service providers to be able to complain their case.
Technological illiteracy and economic problems during COVID-19 pandemic intertwined and became a driving factor in accessing complaints services, Work from Home (KdR) problems, and Study from Home (BdR). Unstable internet network, limited budget for internet quota, and technological illiteracy, are problems that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indonesian people are still not ready with online technology and technology infrastructure are not evenly available in 34 provinces in the country, including its data security.
Most respondents considered that the government was not ready to face the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of infrastructure and was still focused on the medical aspect. Respondents highlighted this readiness in aspects of technology and information, as well as the fulfillment of economic, social, and public services for citizens, including the education system in formal and informal schools, to tertiary institutions. Government assertiveness is also a problem on its own, especially in optimizing the implementation of Large-Scale Social Distancing (PSBB) policies and when people tend to ignore the Health Protocol.
Reflecting on these findings of this online survey, Komnas Perempuan recommends that the government integrate human rights perspectives, especially vulnerable groups of women during disasters, in implementing the New Normal policies. One of the references that can be used is CEDAW General Recommendation No. 37. Komnas Perempuan's recommendations to the government include:
- Ensuring policies regarding the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, which includes the implementation of the New Normal Policies, to include more comprehensive considerations and breakthroughs towards the vulnerabilities faced by certain groups in society, especially women. In addition to health aspects, these policies need to consider social, cultural, and economic aspects, technology and information, mental health, and integrate prevention of violence against women.
- Develop special economic assistance schemes for women, using affirmative action for women heads of households, workers in the informal sector, and low-income groups. This economic assistance should cover assistance of basic needs, while at the same time providing opportunities and creative work opportunities that can be done at home.
- Prepare sufficient information and technology for the public and ensure that the Indonesian people have access to and literacy in digital information and communication.
- Ensure the provision of services are available and easily accessible to victims of violence who will complain their cases. More attention needs to be given to the availability of information and technology, physical and mental health services, budget, and friendly and safe access to register complaints during the COVID-19 pandemic evenly in 34 Provinces.
- Disseminating information about available services and rights of women victims of violence, considering the needs of vulnerable groups with disabilities. This dissemination includes the use of mass media organized by the state such as the Indonesian National Radio (RRI) and National Television Station (TVRI), and its' regional stations.
- Creating special schemes to strengthen and guide parents in assisting their children's learning, including through creative methods, learning tools, learning access and COVID-19 prevention monitoring procedures, during the implementation of the New Normal period, both online or offline for students, especially children with disabilities.
- Ensure the availability of necessities and price stability, including masks for public health.
Commissioner's Resource Persons:
- Alimatul Qibtiyah
- Andy Yentriyani
- Maria Ulfah Anshor
- Retty Ratnawati
Chrismanto Purba (email@example.com)