Women Play Vital Role in Designing National Economic Recovery
Member of Commission XI of the House, Puteri Anetta Komarudin, speaks in a virtual discussion. Photo: Oji/Man
The COVID-19 pandemic has battered all facets of lives, including the national economy. Indonesia’s Central Bank (BI) data showed that the number of women who run micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) accounts for 60% of the total 57.83 million MSMEs in Indonesia. Despite a considerable number of challenges, women have made a major contribution to the government’s national economic recovery strategy, said Member of Commission XI of the House, Puteri Anetta Komarudin.
“In performing its oversight function, Commission XI has tried to ensure that government’s national economic strategy can give opportunities to women and address challenges they face, so they can make valuable contribution to national economic recovery programs,” she said in an online discussion held by the Youth Member of Parliament Caucus and Conservative WFD Programme under the theme “Women’s Role in Household Economy amid the COVID-19 Pandemic” on Monday (10/8/2020).
In the forum attended by 290 participants, she explained that female entrepreneurs dominating the MSMEs sectors are the most affected by the economic downturn due to the pandemic. Therefore, easy access to any stimulus and capital provided by the government is crucial to ensuring self-contained economy for MSMEs female entrepreneurs. Female labors are more vulnerable to job loss amid the pandemic, she said.
"Based on data from the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection (KPPPA), as of April 2020, laid-off female workers have reached 31 percent as a result of pandemic and the number still have the potential to increase. Therefore, more gender-based approach to formulate policies for handling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is needed. The government’s various stimuli need to be directed to safeguard workers and restore the business sector in the efforts to reduce the number of layoffs and minimize the vulnerability of female workers who have lost their livelihood, " Komarudin said.
The Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, one of the main speakers in the forum, made a statement that Law Number 2 of 2020 was expected to play an important role as a legal basis in implementing extraordinary steps taken by the government and other institutions to overcome the impact of the pandemic in the economic sector.
"In the time of the pandemic, women have become the main aspect of government’s policy. All of government assistance programs are distributed into women’s bank account on the consideration that women are often the family's financial decision-makers. Therefore, women will be able to overcome and advocate public policies to create gender justice in the future. In this way, women can play significant roles in creating extraordinary impact on the economy of the family, society and country, " the Minister of Finance asserted.
On the same occasion, Member of the Regional Representatives Council of Special Region of Yogyakarta constituency, Mrs. GKR Hemas, and Member of Commission VI of the House, Mrs. Evita Nursanty explained that rural regions possess great potentials to prop up the national economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in food security sector. Turning house yards into productive lands to grow vegetables and fruits combined with the women’s perseverance will help ensure the success of this program.
At the end of the session, all speakers came to a consensus. The government and the House cannot work alone to move towards national economic recovery based on gender justice. Therefore, synergy and effective and integrated collaboration among all stakeholders are needed. (alw/sf)