Women an important force in COVID-19 handling: minister

Jakarta Women are an important force the nation can tap into to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, said Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Minister, I Gusti Ayu Bintang Darmawati, better known as Bintang Puspayoga.

"The 2020 Central Statistics Agency (BPS) survey shows that women have a higher level of adherence to health protocols than men," Bintang Puspayoga said in a statement received in Jakarta on Friday.

Bintang Puspayoga said that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, women have assumed many roles as managers in households: they are ensuring their families stay healthy and have their needs met, while still helping the family's economy, and assisting their children in studying at home.

Not only that. most of the health workers at the forefront of COVID-19 handling efforts are women, she pointed out.

"Therefore, various efforts and policies with a gender perspective in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic are urgently needed," she said.

Bintang Puspayoga said the spread of COVID-19 in Indonesia has not decreased. What has been a concern since September, 2020 is the increasing trend in positive cases of the SARS-CoV-2 infection from the family cluster, she noted.

In response, President Joko Widodo has directed the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection to make efforts to prevent and handle COVID-19 in the family cluster by involving women.

"With the power of women, breaking the chain of transmission can target the smallest strata of society, namely the family and the surrounding environment," Bintang Puspayoga remarked.

She said it is the duty of the government, academia, business and professional world, mass media, and the community to support the role of women at home as agents of family health.

“(This can be accomplished) Among other things, by providing access to information that is correct, comprehensive, and easy to understand," she added.

The Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection has issued a Family Health Protocol, which can be accessed on the ministry's social media channels, she informed.

The protocol regulates various things, including protocols for protecting the health of family members, health protocols when a family member is exposed to the coronavirus, protocols for family health when doing activities outside the home, and health protocols for the surrounding environment when residents are exposed to the virus.

"The Family Health Protocol shows the important role of the family as part of the environment. From a healthy family, a healthy environment is also created, leading to a healthy Indonesia," she said.

Source: Antara News

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