Jakarta (ANTARA) - From as many as 2,522 cases of online lending recorded in 2021, most of the victims are women, according to an official from the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection.

"Based on data from the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) in 2021, from 2,522 online lending cases, most of the victims are women," the ministry's Acting Assistant Deputy of Gender Mainstreaming for Economic Affairs, Eko Novi Ariyanti, stated at a Media Talk event here on Friday.

Ariyanti, who concurrently serves as the ministry's Assistant Deputy of Gender Mainstreaming for Social and Cultural Affairs, stated that victims generally experience verbal harassment or their personal data was spread by debt collectors while collecting debts.

She further noted that online lending had attracted a lot of public interest, as the application process is easy via an application on a smartphone, the disbursement process is quick, and not many conditions had to be met by the borrowers.

Furthermore, she noted that illegal online lenders were targeting women as borrowers.

Data from the Financial Services Authority (OJK) in 2021 showed that the number of women online lending borrowers was higher than men, with 9,498,405 women borrowers, or 54.95 percent, and 7,785,569 men borrowers, or constituting 45.05 percent, recorded.

"Illegal online lenders are targeting women to obtain as much profit as possible because women's financial literacy is relatively lower," Ariyanti pointed out.

To prevent women from getting trapped in the net of online loans, the ministry is encouraging women to be more selective in using online loan applications and use legal online lenders that are under the supervision of OJK.

Women are also urged to understand the consequences of online lending.

"Seek help and support when experiencing violence due to online lending," she remarked.

The Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection is providing a complaint service for women experiencing violence due to online lending.

Online lending victims can access the SAPA129 hotline service via telephone by calling 129 or via WhatsApp at 08111-129-129.

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Translator: Anita Permata, Raka Adji
Editor: Sri Haryati
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