Indonesia: ICJ addresses open letter to COVID-19 Mitigation Task Force calling for special measures to protect women workers in its pandemic response

In an open letter, the ICJ today called on Indonesia’s COVID-19 Mitigation Task Force to provide detailed guidance to the Government of Indonesia, in taking actionable steps to implement gender responsive measures in the country.

Since the beginning of the outbreak of the pandemic, the mortality rate of Indonesia is reportedly among the highest in the world.

In addressing the pandemic, the Government has established regulations and repeatedly advised people to restrict social gatherings and stay at home. These measures have a particularly disparate impact on Indonesian women, exacerbating the pre-existing gender inequalities in Indonesia.

The ICJ has previously highlighted the challenges faced by women in its report  “Living Like People who die slowly.” Similar concerns has been expressed by the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.

The ICJ called the task force to take proactive and special measures to protect women workers in its COVID-19 response, in line with the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women’s Guidance Note on COVID-19.

Specifically, the ICJ has recommended that it promote government responses to:

  1. Ensure that women receive basic needs support
  2. Provide more working opportunities for women to work from home
  3. Provide online counseling or mental health support for women workers

The ICJ considers that the failure to recognize the gender dynamics affecting women workers, particularly public health emergencies, limits the effectiveness of the overall Government’s response efforts and impedes the full realization of women’s human rights in Indonesia.


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