Challenges Faced by Female Plantation Workers and Government Safeguards

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Challenges Faced by Female Plantation Workers and Government Safeguards. Photo by: Sawit Fest 2021 / Budi Candra Setya

PALMOILMAGAZINE, JAKARTA – Female workers in plantations encounter various challenges including inadequate health and safety protections, absence of formal work agreements, discrepancies in wages compared to regulations, excessive working hours, and unmet reproductive rights such as maternity leave, postpartum holidays, miscarriage support, breastfeeding accommodations, and lack of onsite childcare.

Rafail Walangitan, Assistant Deputy of Working Female Rights Protection and TPPO at the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection (WECP) of Indonesia, highlighted additional issues such as unavailable transportation to and from workplaces.

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The government published regulation to protect the female workers, such as, the first, Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Woman (CEDAW) (1984), oblige the country and government not to do discrimination against the woman, namely in employment.

Also Read: ANJ Group Commitment to Protect Female Laborers and Children in Papua

The second, Chapter 28D paragraph 3 Indonesian Constitutional mentioned that everyone has rights and rewards of fair and proper treatment in the work place. The third is the lead of President point 3 about ‘Decreasing Violence against Women’.

The fourth is Regulation of Minister of WECP No. 1 / 2020 about the Provision of Protection House to Female Workers at the Work Place. Rafail told, his side is doing to protect the female workers by publishing Regulation of Minister of WECP No. 5 / 2015 about the Provision of Gender Responsive Work Place and Child Care in Work Place as the form of female’s rights fulfillment to increase the work productivity.

The policy was implemented by the making of Gerakan Pekerja/Buruh Perempuan Sehat Produktif (GP2SP). this became the same commitment between Ministry of WECP, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and Ministry of Labor summarized in memorandum of understanding No. 24/KPPPA/Dep-2/07/2017 about The Implementation of Gerakan Pekerja/Buruh Perempuan Sehat Produktif (GP2SP).

Rafail Walangitan thought, this is one effort of the government, the people, master, and labors union to take, play roles, increase concern, and realize the female worker/labor health improvement to increase the work quality and quantity for the next generations.

The activity was realized in the form of, the first, reproduction health service for the female workers/labors; the second, early detection of disinfected disease for the female workers /labors’ the third, nutrient fulfillment for the female workers/labors; the fourth, increase breastfeeding activity during the work hours in the work place; and the fifth, control the work environment for the risky female labors/workers. (P2)

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