Covid-19UNS Update

Economic Valve: Women with Disability are Vulnerable amid the Pandemic

By February 23, 2021 No Comments
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UNS — Online survey from Jaringan Difabel Indonesia (Indonesia Difable Network) in 2020 on 1,683 respondents from 216 districts stated that 80.9% of people with disabilities experienced the negative impact of Covid-19. This impact includes a 50-80% decrease in income for 86% of people with disabilities in informal sectors.

Specifically, Dr. Rina Herlina Haryanti, S.Sos., M.Si., a researcher from Population and Gender Research Study Center (PPKG) Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS) Surakarta, stated that the women with disability’s resilience as an economical valve for their family are increasingly vulnerable amid the pandemic. These women have the double responsibility of domestic and public functions. Their domestic role includes accompanying their children studying from home and using information technology that demands added knowledge.

Their condition is worsened by the disability of individual or family members, their low economic and education. They are also experiencing triple discrimination and stigma: stigma as women, as disabled, and as poor women. “On average, women with disabilities are included in the poor community. Like their normal kin, they also manage household finance and how to keep food on their table. On the other hand, they also support family income, to go out, work and interact (with people),” Dr. Rina explained when contacted by uns.ac.id, Tuesday (16/2/2021).

The condition that demands these women to go out, interact outdoor, and be highly mobile poses a higher risk of Covid-19 infection. Additionally, with various types of disability, they need 5M instead of 3M prevention. Types of disability that require different Covid-19 prevention is people with aiding devices such as white cane and wheelchair. These aiding devices require special treatment, for example, disinfecting.

Mute and deaf women also face difficulty since the use of masks makes it hard for them to communicate with their able customers. They were also susceptible to fall into loan shark offers due to their declining income. At the end of the interview, Dr. Rina emphasized that the economic slowdown has caused domestic life to be susceptible to domestic violence, divorce, and deeper poverty.

“They need attention from many parties. From the society, community, and the state. When we discuss the pandemic, for the disabled to survive the pandemic needs our appreciation,” she explained. Humas UNS

Reporter: Kaffa Hidayati
Editor: Dwi Hastuti