Discussion of IPB University Center for Gender and Child Studies : Rates of Domestic Violence Increases During the Pandemic Period

Gender is a cultural construction where human conditions can actually change due to the social environment. Different from sex , gender is very adapted to the norms and values that inherently exist in the local community. Todays condition of the covid-19 pandemic caused a major shift in gender relations between men and women, especially in the family field. This gap can even get higher if its not handled properly. 

"Data on domestic violence has increased by 3 percent during the pandemic, compared to 2019 in the same period. This needs a very special attention, because this condition is constructed to greatly affect the physical and mental health as well as the family economic conditions, "said Agustina Erni M.Sc, Deputy for Gender Equality, Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection (KPPA-RI), during his presentation on the Webinar that was organized by the Center Study of Gender and Children (PKGA) IPB University, (21/7).

In addition, Agustina also explained that the development policy had shaped the family as the main issue. The government sees that many problems can be better solved if a family approach is adopted to overcome those problems. This role enhancement was implemented by cross collaborations between government agencies, the private sector and academics. 

Furthermore, according to Agustina, the key for family resiliency is about gender partnership. Women and men should be placed in the positions of equal shares of opportunity. Domestic household work is indeed a joint task of family members, so that the women are able to free from multiple workloads. She elaborated further that the equivalent or equality in the field of decision making for reproduction and childcare activities. 

In light with the previous speaker, Nur Hasyim, founder of the New Men's Alliance (ALB), also explained that domestic violence tends to increase during this covid-19 pandemic. There are about 97 recorded cases of violence each month. Therefore,  ALB as a movement that focuses on gender equality came to the idea in order to address these problems. According to him, the divorce rate also increased exponentially because families are failed to make a robust adjustments and adaptations to the existing change. "The Failure of the family in order to adapt is happening due to the husband's hierarchical relationship pattern as well as the dichotomic and rigid division of roles. In the recent times, there is a disparity between the roles of men and women because of the development of its stereotypes. This is what makes women or men have an unequal access, "added Nur Hasyim.

 According to him, men as the heads of family are accustomed to suppressing the feelings of sadness and weakness in order to meet the expectations of society. Men should be able in managing their emotions positively, recognizing, and communicating with a partner. In addition, husbands also tend to give orders and are not sensitive in listening to the suggestions. Even in the worst case scenario, men are tend to be tolerated in using violence to resolve conflicts.

Dr. Harien Puspitawati, IPB University lecturer from the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (IKK), Faculty of Human Ecology (FEMA) who is also a researcher at PKGA IPB University gave a few tips on maintaining family harmony during the pandemic period. First, we have to strengthens the commitment of family marriages to be maintained and carried out properly. Furthermore, it is necessary to apply a balanced partnership pattern between family members. The division of labor are made and consented together. "Openness in communication is also an important point in maintaining the family harmony. This open communication is basically used in financial decision making, children's education and family planning. Last, we have to often praise and calm the partner. It is intended to make the psychological condition of the family remains stable and positive, "said Dr. Harien.  (IAAS/RI)



Published Date : 21-Jul-2020

Resource Person : Dr Harien Puspitawati

Keyword : gender relations, PKGA IPB, KPPA-RI, domestic violence during the pandemic, IPB lecturer