UNDP, J-PAL SEA Report Reveals prevalent incidence of Gender Based Violence During COVID-19 Pandemic

March 10, 2021

Jakarta, 10 March 2021 — At least 42 percent of surveyed Indonesians have reported experiencing some form of gender based violence (GBV) during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab South East Asia (J-PAL SEA) launched on Wednesday.

The study, entitled “Understanding the Welfare and Livelihood of Society During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Indonesia” aimed to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender-based violence and unpaid care work.

The study was conducted online and via telephone interviews from October to November of 2020, to over 1,000 respondents in eight cities. Around 46.5 percent of the respondents were women. Respondents were from Java, Bali, Sumatra, and Kalimantan provinces.

While eight percent of women noted they lost their jobs and were currently seeking employment, the share of men who became unemployed was higher at 15.2 percent. 53 percent of these respondents noted that they lost jobs because of the economic pressures of the pandemic. These changes have also affected their mental health and caused family conflicts due to extended periods spent in close proximity to each other in addition to the pressures of unemployment and stress. Unpaid-care-work is unevenly distributed in the household with women noting that they spent more than three hours in care work compared to men who performed the same jobs but for just under two hours a day.

“My deep appreciation goes to UNDP and J-PAL who have developed this much needed and very important study in response to the ongoing crisis. We need data to raise awareness of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women. This information will also help formulate policies based on evidence"” said I Gusti Ayu Bintang Darmawati, Minister for Women’s Empowerment at the Government of Indonesia in opening remarks.

“The pandemic has challenged the ability of service provision for GBV survivors. UNDP, the Government, and our partners have worked tirelessly to ensure uninterrupted and COVID-safe provision of support services to the survivors of GBV. But the most effective response to GBV is prevention. And prevention is a function of women’s empowerment. That’s why it is important that we empower both within the household, and in the workplace, formal or informal. women and their contribution to the society,,” said Norimasa Shimomura UNDP Indonesia Resident Representative

“The study confirmed the reality that women are disproportionately affected by situations such as the pandemic, particularly in regard to employment and care work,” said Prani Sastiono, from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Indonesia and Deputy Head of Digital Economy and Behavioural Economics Research Group of the LPEM FEB UI, who led the study, adding “I hope that the study can act as a launch pad for policy discussion and development to address some of the pitfalls that were discovered during our research.” .

The study also concluded that there were no significant gender differences in incidence of abuse for any types of violence. Both women and men respondents noted that financial situations, unemployment and needing to spend time assisting children with their schoolwork as reasons for gender-based violence. Women respondents reported domestic work-related issues as one of the reasons, while men reported the heavy burden of paid work and long hours as reasons for violence.



Tomi Soetjipto, UNDP Indonesia Communication Specialist, suryo.tomi@undp.org

Ranjit Jose, UNDP Indonesia Communication and Advocacy Specialist, ranjit,Jose@undp.org Rima Prama Artha, UNDP Indonesia Country Economist, Rima.Artha@undp.org Marifatul Amalia, J-PAL Southeast Asia Research Manager, amalia@povertyactionlab.org


About UNDP

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.

Learn more at undp.org or follow at @UNDP

About J-PAL Southeast Asia

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a network of 140+ affiliated professors at universities around the world. Our mission is to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. We engage with partners around the world to conduct rigorous research, share policy lessons, build capacity, and scale up effective programs.

Officially launched in 2013, J-PAL Southeast Asia (J-PAL SEA) is based at the Lembaga Penyelidikan Ekonomi dan Masyarakat (LPEM) Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia.

Learn more at https://www.povertyactionlab.org/southeast-asia or follow at @JPAL @JPAL_SEA