Jakarta (ANTARA) - Official of the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Eko Novi Ariyanti underscored the importance of economic empowerment of women to prevent them from being swayed by online loan offers.

"The effort to bring about economic empowerment becomes important for them, so that they have income, have businesses that they can use to make their children go to school, and provide balanced nutrition to children," she noted.

During the Media Talk event, here, Friday, Ariyanti also stated that the ministry encourages broader dissemination of information on cooperatives as another effort to prevent women from being ensnared by online loans.

"I believe that good practices from cooperatives should be promoted to the public," according to Ariyanti, who serves as the gender mainstreaming assistant deputy for economy, social and culture at the ministry.

Cooperatives are institutions that have existed since long and offer convenience to parties seeking loan funding.

"Cooperatives do not use interest, if they are, then it is very small, and they do not burden the community," she stated.

The ministry also encouraged women to be more selective in using any online loan service. Moreover, women can contact the ministry if they experience online loan-related violence.

During the event, she also highlighted that out of the 2,522 online loan cases in 2021, most of the victims were women.

The Financial Services Authority's (OJK's) data as per 2021 shows that the number of women online loan users is higher than men, with 9,498,405 women, or 54.95 percent, as compared to 7,785,569 men, or 45.05 percent.

"Illegal online loan providers target women to gain as much profit since women's financial literacy is relatively lower," Ariyanti pointed out.

The victims generally experience verbal abuse and have their personal data distributed by debt collectors when they seek to collect their debt, she stated.

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Translator: Anita Permata D, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Sri Haryati
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