Evaluating Women's Economic Empowerment During COVID-19 Pandemic in South Sulawesi, Indonesia


  • Rina Shahrullah Universitas Internasional Batam
  • Elza Syarief Universitas Internasional Batam
  • Okky Chahyo Nugroho National Research and Innovation Agency-BRIN, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Firdaus Firdaus
  • Penny Naluria Utami
  • Ulang Mangun Sosiawan
  • Djoko Waluyo
  • Ahmad Sanusi




Economic empowerment, marginalized women, COVID-19, South Sulawesi, Indonesia


The factual condition resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has changed and impacted various aspects of Indonesian society. It also made women one of the vulnerable and affected groups, requiring them to face various challenges, including loss of livelihoods as family breadwinners, and gender-based violence. Outside of Java, the region with the highest number of COVID-19 cases is South Sulawesi Province, with a total of 62,672 cases. This had an economic impact on communities and families, particularly affecting women, especially domestic workers, and female heads of households. This research aims to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of government policies and programs in South Sulawesi Province regarding domestic workers and female heads of households. It directly conducted interviews with stakeholders from the government, women's organizations, and domestic workers and female heads of households. It found that the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted women who are heads of households and female domestic workers. The situation for women leading households worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic as they had to navigate the crisis on their own. The situation and conditions of female domestic workers during the COVID-19 pandemic were also dire. Some of them were unilaterally terminated, while others were forced to work daily at their employers' homes, risking virus transmission during their commute due to inadequate personal protective equipment. Those who were laid off by their employers faced a crisis, as they had no income, especially when their spouses, who also worked in the informal sector, stopped working simultaneously. It revealed that both the government of South Sulawesi empowered female heads of households by distributing productive business capital assistance and providing support for female SMEs to access people's business credit. However, in contrast to the reality faced by female domestic workers, this group of women did not receive any social and economic assistance from the government during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Author Biography

Elza Syarief, Universitas Internasional Batam

Elza Syarief is a Law Professor of Law Faculty at Batam International University. She is also an experienced lawyer who established the Elza Syarief Law Office.