Care economy

Towards golden Indonesia with equality in care work

The ILO organizes an interactive discussion session examining the key findings of its workers' perception survey on care work, conducted in collaboration with KataData Insight Centre.

News | Jakarta, Indonesia | 21 November 2023
The interactive discussion on the results of the workers' perception on care work. © ILO/Rizki R. Nasution
In line with the launch of workers’ perception survey conducted by ILO and KataData Insight Centre on November 15, an interactive discussion session was held to respond to the survey results that reveal despite the public’s awareness on the importance of care work, especially in the context of caring for babies, children or the elderly, domestic work such as cleaning and housekeeping is still not widely recognized as part of care work.

Double burden is a form of discrimination against women. If women work and have incomes that can be used to employ domestic workers or childcare workers, it not only reduces their double burden but also provides economic value that ultimately can increase the GDP."

Lenny N. Rosalin, Deputy Minister for Gender Equality of the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection
Presented by Satria Triputra, Manager of KataData Insight Centre Survey, the survey results also reveal the existence of dilemmas between social conflict and women's awareness. The survey shows that 61.6 per cent of male respondents have wives or female relatives who bear a double burden, while female respondents with a double burden have reached 79.3 per cent. However, most female respondents (67.3 per cent) stated that they do not feel that they have longer working hours in care work than men.

"Moreover, 68.3 per cent of male respondents stated that it is reasonable for women to leave their paid jobs for caring responsibilities as part of their obligation as mothers or daughters. Interestingly, an almost equal percentage of female respondents, 66.2 per cent, have a similar idea. This is in line with 80.5 per cent of respondents who believe that women are naturally suited for care work," explained Satria.

Attended by approximately 400 participants offline and online, this interactive discussion featured speakers from the government, business, gender activist and ILO: Lenny N. Rosalin, Deputy Minister for Gender Equality of the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection; Myra Hanartani, Chair of the Regulation and Institutional Relations Committee of the Indonesian Employers’ Association (Apindo); Melanie Subono, artist and activist; and Early Dewi Nuriana, ILO’s Programme Coordinator for Care Economy.

Satria Triputra, Manager of KataData Insight Centre Survey, presents the key results of workers' perception survey on care work. © ILO/Rizki R. Nasution
Deputy Minister Lenny stated that care work is a shared responsibility that plays a crucial role in laying the foundation for the Road Map and National Action Plan on Care Work towards golden Indonesia by 2045. She agreed with the survey results that highlight women's double burden and social norms hindering equality efforts.

From the survey results, we know that the most needed services are maternity protection, paternity protection and flexible working arrangements. This is interesting because in Indonesia, maternity and paternity leaves without pay cuts only apply to formal workers, while the majority of workers in Indonesia are in the informal sector.."

Early Dewi Nuriana, ILO’s Programme Coordinator for Care Economy
"Double burden is a form of discrimination against women. If women work and have incomes that can be used to employ domestic workers or childcare workers, it not only reduces their double burden but also provides economic value that ultimately can increase the GDP," she explained.

In the context of managing of the survey results, Early emphasized that the survey was part of the ILO support to the development of the Road Map on Care Economy. Early also affirmed that the main findings of this survey could serve as inputs and supporting information.

"From the survey results, we know that the most needed services are maternity protection, paternity protection and flexible working arrangements. This is interesting because in Indonesia, maternity and paternity leaves without pay cuts only apply to formal workers, while the majority of workers in Indonesia are in the informal sector. Therefore, it is important to ensure that these three services can be enjoyed by informal workers as well," she said, adding that the ILO Convention No.183 on Maternity Protection encourages the development of social insurance mechanisms that can reach informal workers.

From the business perspective, Myra Hanartani, as the representative of Apindo, emphasized the importance of regulations in ensuring that companies meet the needs of workers, especially regarding maternity and paternity leaves and flexible working arrangements. She also noted that although the majority of the respondents work informally, the formation of a trade union should be driven by the internal needs of workers, not by the external pressure.

Participants attending the launch share their experience in dealing with care work. © ILO/Rizki R. Nasution
Melanie Subono, an artist and activist, urged all participants to translate this issue in a simple way to be widely understood by the public at large. She also highlighted cultural norms that still strongly associate women with roles of doing care work.

"Many women are not aware. They need to have a realization on how important the care work that they do every day. Women also must be able to say 'I am worth it' and have the right to work," said Melanie.

Many women are not aware. They need to have a realization on how important the care work that they do every day. Women also must be able to say 'I am worth it' and have the right to work."

Melanie Subono, artist and activist
The four panelists agreed on the need for developing intensive socialization activities. Early stated that socialization efforts could be started from the family level targeting children from an early age. "Through daily family activities, we can teach that care work is a collective activity, not just for women," she added.

In line with this, Lenny and Myra emphasized the importance of awareness raising programmes to reach relevant community members, especially the active role of men and other community figures, including religious leaders. Meanwhile, Melanie stated that she would strive to disseminate this issue. "Together, we can raise the awareness about this issue based on our own capacities."

This interactive discussion session also included a question-and-answer session where participants shared their experiences dealing with care work. They acknowledged the importance of sharing responsibilities between women and men. The discussion session concluded by emphasizing the need to change the paradigm of care work into a shared responsibility through a shift in mindset and regulatory support, which is expected to bring positive changes in creating a more conducive and equal working environment for all.

This article was written by Larasati Riskia Adiani, Communication Consultant at ILO for Inclusivity.