PSC Seminar Series

Event details

PSC Seminar Series

Date & time

Tuesday 27 July 2021




Dr Rebecca Meckelburg


Maxine McArthur

Local government and civil society responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia have been widely lauded in academic and popular media since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in March 2020.

Indeed local mitigation and healthcare responses have sometimes proven critical in the face of central government failures in many aspects of pandemic responses. However previous studies have not shown the role that women have played in leading these local responses.

This seminar examines the findings in Rebecca’s recent study on women’s unrecognised leadership in Indonesia’s COVID-19 responses. The study uncovered a significant disjuncture between men’s high representation in formal COVID-19 leadership and decision-making bodies, and women’s overwhelming domination of the daily work of pandemic leadership in both infectious disease mitigation and healthcare responses.

The findings showed that local health departments and community health centres in Indonesia, run largely by women, have been a critical piece of infrastructure for Indonesia’s pandemic response. Yet this critical role, as well as the knowledge and experience gained by these women, has not been acknowledged formally nor drawn upon as a critical resource in longer term pandemic planning and leadership.

Dr Rebecca Meckelburg is a research scholar and lecturer in the Development Studies postgraduate program at the Interdisciplinary Faculty, Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana.

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