Delegation of the European Union
to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam

EU-funded ACTION Project launch campaign on gender issues during COVID-19 pandemic

Jakarta, 04/03/2021 - 09:51, UNIQUE ID: 210304_16
Press releases

In celebration of International Women's Day 2021, KAPAL Perempuan Institute launched a campaign entitled “Transforming Challenges into Strength: The Urgency of Gender Issues during COVID-19 Pandemic”.

International Women’s Day Campaign

“Transforming Challenges into Strength: The Urgency of Gender Issues during COVID-19 Pandemic”


In celebration of International Women's Day 2021, KAPAL Perempuan Institute launched a campaign entitled “Transforming Challenges into Strength: The Urgency of Gender Issues during COVID-19 Pandemic”. This campaign is supported by the European Union through the Active Citizens Building Solidarity and Resilience in Response to COVID-19 (ACTION) project.

The campaign aims to advocate for government support and raise public awareness on gender issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular issues related to the vulnerabilities of women and the mitigation strategies, that have a gender perspective, are inclusive and transformative.

The campaign was kicked-off with an expert discussion on 3 March 2021, followed by today's webinar. The webinar presents resource persons from KAPAL Perempuan Institute; the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan); District/ City Authorities of East Lombok, Makassar, East Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Bogor; the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection of the Republic of Indonesia; Hamong Santono (Expert on Social Protection Issues); Tariska Indri (Activist of Sexual Minority Group); as well as the ACTION project consortium: Hivos, Pamflet, Sapda, CISDI and PUPUK.

Around 200 participants are expected to attend, including the central, sub-district and village authorities; District and Village Task Forces; civil society organisations working on COVID-19 mitigation and gender issues; community organisations; academics/ universities; community leaders; media;  grass-root organisations, the general public, and other strategic groups.

Since the first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Indonesia on 2 March 2020, the government has been implementing a range of measures to protect public safety and health and to slow down the spread of the virus. However, despite these efforts, gender issues during the COVID-19 pandemic received less attention. Women are at a higher risk of experiencing violence and discrimination during the pandemic. The pandemic situation has also hindered Service Providers for Women Victims of Violence to provide fast service.

“The challenges brought by the pandemic has exacerbated the risk of violence against women and it requires specific, intensive, and more massive efforts as a form of seriousness in responding to gender issues in the pandemic. Over the past year, a number of measures had been implemented by the government to handle various sectors but gender issues are still far behind. The gender issue during pandemic seems to be handled by the relevant Ministries/Agencies and civil society organisations that focus on women’s issues. Whereas, gender issue should be a joint commitment between different sectors and mainstreamed in order to provide social protection, and this is the responsibility of all Ministries/Agencies,” said Misiyah, Director of KAPAL Perempuan Institute.

“Gender equality is a core principle of the European Union,” said EU Ambassador Vincent Piket. “Promoting women’s rights and ensuring equal opportunities for women and girls is in our founding treaties and is part of all our policies. Women empowerment is also a necessary part of sustainable economic and social development.”

“The EU will continue to cooperate with the Indonesian Government, the private sector and civil society to promote women's rights and women empowerment and address gender-based violence. That is especially necessary now, as the pandemic has hit women and girls in particular,” he added.

The campaign is expected to provide lessons learnt on strategies for COVID-19 mitigation that are gender responsive and inclusive so that it can inspire the government, women's movement and other civil society movements in addressing COVID-19 in the future. Through this campaign, KAPAL Perempuan Institute hopes the government, communities, stakeholders and media will continuously emphasise the importance of addressing gender issues during the pandemic.



About the EU’s coronavirus response in Indonesia

To support partner countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, the EU has launched the “Team Europe” approach. The objective of the “Team Europe” approach is to combine resources from the EU, its Member States and European financial institutions. “Team Europe” has mobilised around €200 million in grants and loans to support Indonesia. €6 million or IDR 108.5 billion in grants are dedicated to support civil society organisations to address the health and socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 crisis in Indonesia.

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About European Union

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 Member States. Together, the EU has built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms.  In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for advancing the goals of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. The EU is the world’s largest trading bloc, and the world's largest source and destination of foreign direct investment. Collectively, the EU and its Member States are the largest donor of Official Development Assistance (ODA), providing more than half of ODA globally.

About ACTION project

The “Active Citizens Building Solidarity and Resilience in Response to COVID-19 (ACTION)” project is implemented by Hivos and five local partners, namely KAPAL Perempuan Institute, CISDI, PAMFLET Generasi, PUPUK and SAPDA. The project, funded by the European Union, aims at increasing the participation of civil society organisations in preventing and mitigating the risks caused by the COVID-19 crisis and ensuring that vulnerable and marginalised groups in Indonesia have equal access to social and economic recovery programmes. This two-year project is implemented in 15 sub-districts and 40 villages in DKI Jakarta, West Java, Yogyakarta, West Nusa Tenggara, and South Sulawesi in two phases. The first phase will focus on the initial response to the pandemic, while the second phase will help to mitigate the social and economic impacts. Women, people with disabilities (PWD), elderly, youth, SME entrepreneurs, and CSOs will directly benefit from the project.

About the ACTION Project consortium:


Hivos is an international organisation based in The Netherlands that seeks new solutions to persistent global issues. With smart projects in the right places, we oppose discrimination, inequality, abuse of power and the unsustainable use of our planet’s resources. Our primary focus is achieving structural change. This is why we cooperate with innovative businesses, citizens and their organisations. We share a dream with them of sustainable economies and inclusive societies. For more information, please visit:

Center for Indonesia's Strategic Development Initiatives (CISDI):

CISDI is a civil society organization that supports the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through health development and involvement of youth in health development. CISDI conducts a study of issues based on experience in managing primary healthcare reinforcement programs in sub-urban areas as well as outermost, frontier, and the least developed areas, research and analysis of health policies, social change campaigns, and its involvement in health diplomacy at the national and international levels. For more information, please visit:

Alternative Education Circle for Women (KAPAL Perempuan):

The establishment of KAPAL Perempuan is to build women and social movement that are capable of realizing social justice, gender equality and justice as well as peace in the public and private sphere. KAPAL focuses on strengthening women's leadership through feminist critical education, organizing and evidence-based advocacy, especially for women at the grassroots. For more information, please visit:


PAMFLET is a human rights based organisation founded and organised by young people. We are focusing on youth movement, as well as encouraging new initiatives for change in social and cultural areas, especially related to human rights issues, politics and democracy, and gender and sexual diversity. We support the youth movement in Indonesia and manage the knowledge on youth through developing centers of information, documentation and organising capacity building for young people. For more information, please visit:

The Association for Advancement of Small Business (PUPUK):

PUPUK was established from initiation program of Small Industries Advancement (PIK) - West Java Chamber of Commerce (KADIN Jawa Barat), and the initiatives of three professional groups of Entrepreneurs, Academics, and Economic Activist began in 1979 in cooperation with a German institution, Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung (FNSt). In 1988 declared independently with the goals to expanding the region scope and more comprehensive achievements and institutionalized into PUPUK, and was legalized as an Association. PUPUK provides technical assistance to empower small businesses and strengthen the ecosystem to stimulate new strong entrepreneurs in facing economic competition. For more information, please visit:

Advocacy Center for Disability, Women and Children (SAPDA):

SAPDA Foundation, stands for Advocacy Center for Disability, Women and Children, based in Yogyakarta, and established in July 2005, is a non-governmental organization (NGO) with a vision of "the struggle to bring about change, justice, freedom, welfare & equality to fulfill and protect the rights of women, persons with disabilities and children in an inclusive society on the basis of equal human rights.” For more information, please visit:


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