11 April 2015
While the United Nations takes stock of how far women have come in getting women’s rights acknowledged as human rights, Indonesia wants to stop sending women out of the country as foreign domestic workers (FDWs).This will throw a wrench in their financial empowerment.
During a recent visit to Malaysia, Indonesian president Joko Widodo expressed shame when discussing the issue of Indonesian women working overseas as foreign domestic workers (FDWs). In an effort to preserve the dignity of the nation, the President announced plans to stop sending women to work as domestic helpers overseas. In doing so, he failed to realise the greater consequences of legitimate employment opportunities for women being cut.
The growing gender challenges of development and economic growth aside, women also face numerous cultural hurdles in establishing economic security. There is a need for more income generating opportunities provided for women in order for them to live stable, secure and indeed, dignified lives. Instead of ‘band-aid’ solutions, policies should be aimed at greater regulation and protection of FDWs. It is in fact by empowering its women that Indonesia will find greater dignity.
… Tamara Nair is Research Fellow with the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
NTS Centre / Online
Last updated on 23/11/2015