Women in the Pandemic: Women’s Occupational Health and Safety Is Not Guaranteed

The pandemic did not only create a crisis but a pro-capitalist political and economic system. COVID 19 has exacerbated a pre-existing crisis situation that women have to manage the most. During the COVID 19 pandemic crisis, other than the increasing workload and burden of domestic work, women also had to endure violence.

Every woman is a worker both in the domestic sphere and in the realm of production. During the pandemic, women at the same time had to do 2 jobs at the same time, namely working outside of the home and inside the house, facing violence at home and in the work place, and the absence of maximum protection for their health.

First, the work fields designated for women are jobs with low wages, inadequate work systems, no work safety guarantee, the neglection of women’s sexual reproduction rights, and rampant sexual harassment at work, particularly in the garment sector, domestic workers, homeworkers, shop workers, creative sector and workers in the palm oil plantation sector. When the COVID 19 pandemic hit, most women lost their jobs, lost most of their income, and did not have sustainable job security.

Second, on the one hand, women still have to do chores at homes such as caring for the house, children, and the elderly, whose burdens increased during the Covid-19 period because all family members had to stay at home, accompanying the children to study, and ensure that the kitchen was still steaming. All done without pay.

Third, women are still facing violence in the workplace and violence in the household. As written by Komnas Perempuan, the number of violence against women increases during the pandemic.

Fourth, the current health system does not function in providing the maximum protection during the Covid-19 period, which affected the lives of women, many women have neglected their health in order to survive and continue their lives.

The economic and political system in which we live today is a system that does not protect and respect women’s work, a system that controls women’s bodies even in a way so that they can continue to be paid less and do work for free.

Throughout the Pandemic: The Government and the House of Representatives has ignored the Interests of Women and put the interests of the Elite

There is only one reason why the Elimination of Sexual Violence Bill (RUU PKS) and the Protection of Domestic Worker Bill  (RUU PPRT) were not passed immediately. Namely because of the elimination of sexual violence bill and the protection of domestic workers bill demands the recognition that women have authority over their bodies. Hence violence against women is a crime, a crime against humanity, and the work that women do is not a dedication.

Cheap and flexible labor will not exist without the exploitation of women’s work and bodies and the exploitation of natural resources.

The inequality of power, utility, and ownership of land situations has resulted in violence on a large scale. The control over tens of millions of hectares of land by investors, conversion of agricultural land for infrastructure development and tourism has cause displaced residents from their main livelihoods as farmers. Agrarian conflicts that arise because of resistance to large-scale investments have led to kidnappings, arrests, and the criminalization of people, and violence against women.

Amid the ecological damage caused by the exploitation of land and natural resources, women are forced to work for cheap wages and are trapped in a flexible work system that makes them vulnerable to harassment and violence against them.

So it is not surprising that the Job Creation Law is referred to as the Universal Sweeping Bill. This law exists to ensure the exploitation of natural resources and the exploitation of women’s work and bodies is maintained. The partisanship of the Government and the House of Representatives for investors has become increasingly evident during the pandemic with the ratification of the Job Creation Law as well as marginalizing the Elimination of Violence Bill and the Protection of Domestic Workers Bill.

Therefore we have formulated our demands:

  1. Create a free health system, accessible to everyone, and free from discrimination.
  2. Fair wages for women’s work.
  3. The recognition of sexual violence as human rights violence by passing the Bill on the Elimination of Sexual Violence.
  4. Recognize domestic workers as workers by passing the Domestic Workers Protection Bill.
  5. Immediately Ratify ILO Convention 190 along with Recommendation 206 so that all workers are free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence.
  6. Revoke the Job Creation Act.
  7. Stop the criminalization of the people, realize the guarantee of freedom of association and association.

Happy International Women’s Day
Contact Person:
Mutiara Ika Pratiwi – National Secretary
+6282213587565

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Redaksi Perempuan Mahardhika, dikelola oleh Staff Perempuan Mahardhika.