Challenging and Strengthening Women’s Agency: A Gender Analysis of Covid-19 Pandemic in Indonesia
Like the rest of the world, Indonesia is affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. As the numbers of positive Covid-19 cases continue to rise, lockdown-like measures were imposed in the country, forcing many of the country’s population to stay at home. This experience of pandemic is unique and different for women. This study aimed to identify how the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia affects women, analyze women’s experience in facing the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia, and identify how women manage the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia. To address these research aims, a gender analysis was conducted based on the agency model. The results are the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia affects women in that women’s freedom of movement diminished, they have less access to and control over resources, decreased ability in decision-making over family formation, less freedom from the risk of violence, and face threats in having voice in society and influencing policy. There is also the opportunity to strengthen women’s agency through synergic efforts between the state and non-state actors as well as the media to form policies, foster collective women’s identities and movements, and amplifying women’s voices so their issues become publicized. If successful, this synergy can pave the way of gender equality and ensure women’s protection and empowerment in Indonesia.
Keywords: gender analysis, pandemic, Covid-19, agency, women