House Speaker: Women Play Significant Role in COVID-19 Handling
Women not only have become one of the groups feeling the huge impact of COVID-19 pandemic but also have had significant role in the fight against COVID-19. Therefore, women must play an active role to prevent COVID-19 from spreading widely. House Speaker Dr. (H.C.) Puan Maharani revealed that 70 percent of the world medical workers on the front lines who fight against COVID-19 are women. Therefore, this year’s Kartini Day, celebrated annually on 21 April to commemorate the birth of national heroine and a symbol of women’s empowerment Raden Ajeng Kartini, reflects the toughness and greatness of women especially during this time of pandemic.
Maharani stated this as one of her notions when she became a keynote speaker in a webinar discussion themed “Role, Readiness, and Resilience of Women in the Fight against COVID-19”, Thursday (23/4/2020). The virtual discussion was held by the Indonesian Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus (KPP-RI), the Indonesian Women Politicians’ Caucus (KPPI) and Maju Perempuan Indonesia (MPI) to commemorate Kartini Day.
In Indonesia, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle Politician went on saying that according to the government, 60 percent of the Indonesian Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises producing hand sanitizers or face masks are owned or run by women. “Those data have shown us that women are not only the ones who suffered a great impact from this COVID-19, but also the ones who play a significant role in the fight against COVID-19,” Maharani said. In a smaller scope, she added, women could also take role in battling this deadly virus in their family.
“Because fighting COVID-19 is very dependent on the resilience of family health and fulfillment of balanced nutrition,” emphasized Maharani, the first woman who became the Speaker of the Indonesian Parliament. A number of source persons also participated in the teleconference discussion; among them were the Presidium Chair of Parliamentary Women’s Caucus (KPP-RI) who is also an MP from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, Diah Pitaloka; Chair of National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) and the Chief of COVID-19 Fast-response Team, Doni Monardo; the Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Protection, I Gusti Ayu Bintang Darmawati; as well as the Economist of Institute for Development of Economy and Finance (INDEF), Enny Sri Hartati.
In the online discussion joined by 100 participants from various circles, Maharani asked the Indonesian women to initiate gotong royong (mutual cooperation in harmony) to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. “Gotong royong is Indonesia’s remarkable efforts and true identity which has deeply-rotted in Indonesians,” she explained. According to Maharani, acts of kindness and solidarity in handling the COVID-19 had spread to villages. “Community in villages provides shelter and food for community members who are conducting self-isolation and under monitoring,” she said. Maharani hoped that women could lead all components of the community and work hand in hand to handle COVID-19 spread.