"Half or 46 percent (of women-owned MSMEs) reported that they are having difficulty in paying bills and debts," Puspayoga highlighted at the W20 Indonesia Policy Dialogue, themed "Freedom from Discrimination: Historical Journey from Japan to Indonesia," which was held in Likupang, North Sulawesi, on Tuesday.
Women play a significant role in economic growth and development in Indonesia, she said.
In fact, women own and run more than 50 percent of MSMEs in Indonesia, the minister underlined.
"They own and run more than 50 percent of micro, small, and medium enterprises throughout the country," she said.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to two-thirds of these MSMEs experiencing a decline in income, she added.
Puspayoga said the situation has been exacerbated by increasing stress levels among the community due to the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which, in turn, have increased the incidence of gender-based violence and violence against women.
"Globally, about one in three women worldwide have become the target of violence," she added.
For that reason, women's issues must be actively brought up during G20 discussions, the minister stressed.
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She also expressed the hope that G20 countries would become stronger and take lessons from the current crisis.
The W20 event in Likupang was held in a mixed online and offline format and was attended by several officials, including the Minister of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection, Bintang Puspayoga; Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Penny Williams; Country Representative for Indonesia and Liaison to ASEAN at UN Women, Jamshed Kazi; president of the Indonesian Women's Congress, Giwo Rubianto Wiyogo; chairwoman of W20 Indonesia, Handriani Uli Silalahi; and co-Chairwoman of W20 Indonesia, Dian Siswarini.
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