Unveiling The Truth of Gender-Based Violence in The COVID-19 Pandemic

Gender-Based Violence Illustration

Unveiling The Truth of Gender-Based Violence in The COVID-19 Pandemic

What is Gender-Based Violence?

Gender-Based Violence

Gender-based violence is an umbrella term for any harmful behaviour committed against a person based on social factors, such as the gender assigned by society that distinguishes between men and women. This includes any actions that cause physical, sexual, or mental pain, as well as threats to do something dangerous, coercion, and/or other conduct that restricts a person’s freedom.

Gender-based violence is caused by gender inequality and power abuse as a result of unequal power relations resulting from unequal gender construction. As a result, the gender of perpetrators and survivors shapes the desire for violence. This type of violence can affect anyone, including men and sexual minority groups. However, violence against women is more common in the context of gender-based violence. One in every three women in the world has been subjected to physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives.

According to Redline Indonesia, there are five types of gender-based violence in general:

  1. Sexual Violence such as rape and forced abortion.
  2. Physical violence. This is the most obvious in everyday life. There is pain and/or scarring, which can be interpreted as evidence of physical violence. However, in order for it to be considered gender-based violence, there must be a motivation or assumption of gender/sexual bias. Gender-based violence in this type of physical violence is defined as actions that cause injury or pain in specific parts of the body with the motivation and assumption of gender or sexual bias.
  3. Social and economic violence. In this category, victims suffer from economic neglect and impoverishment as a result of violence. Economic neglect by husbands against their wives or children is an example can be see in everyday life. The effects of discomfort, freedom, and poverty can all be seen here. If this is the case, it already falls under the category of economic violence.
  4. Psychological or mental violence. If physical violence is the easiest to detect, psychological violence is the easiest to see but difficult to detect.
  5. Negative social/cultural practices. According to the explanation, this practice includes female genital mutilation, forced or arranged marriage, and early marriage.

Read more about women empowerment in Indonesia; Top 5 Bold Indonesian Women Public Figures in Politics

Violence to Women in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Violence to Women in the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic raises the risk of gender-based violence throughout the world, including in Indonesia. The pandemic’s unpredictable situation increases the possibility of layoffs, reduced income, and other stressful situations at home. Furthermore, Indonesia’s inability and reluctance to seek mental health help in the midst of grief and frustration during the pandemic increases the risk of becoming perpetrators of gender-based violence. 

During the pandemic, the National Women’s Commission discovered new facts about violence against women.

Throughout the year 2020, Kompas mentioned that there were 299,911 reports of violence against women. The data was gathered from the Religious Courts in a total of 291,677 cases and from the National Women’s Commission in a total of 8,234 cases.

In 2019, the number of cases of violence against women was 1,419 cases. Meanwhile, in 2020 the number of cases of violence increased to 2,389 in 2020. This indicates that violence in the community has risen during the pandemic. From the data of 8,234 cases of violence against women, the most prominent type of violence is Domestic Violence/Personal Relations as many as 6,480 cases or 78.6 per cent.

Of the 6,480 cases related to Domestic Violence and Personal Relations, the incidence of violence against wives was 3,221 or 49.7 per cent of cases. Next, the violence that occurred or was experienced in dating was 1,309 or 20 per cent. The third is violence against girls 954 or 14.7 per cent.

Solution to Gender-Based Violence in Pandemic

When it comes to gender-based violence, strengthening the law and awareness of society is the most effective way. At some point, Indonesians need to realize that laws regarding gender equality are still rather weak. They are deemed as too complicated to be discussed and had before been protracted in some subject matters. Thus, the government need to quickly initiate and develop a rightful system of gender equality to ensure that all genders may live on welfare without having to suffer due to their identity.

Society itself needs to be further reinforced with education towards gender violence and equality. Most people do not comprehend fully the right steps to report a case of violence neither can indicate the case

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