Coordinating Legal, Political and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD has caught flak for his recent statement that likens the country’s efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19 to a husband’s control over his wife.
Women’s NGO Solidaritas Perempuan (Women’s Solidarity) chief executive Dinda Nisa Yura said Mahfud’s remarks exposed casual misogyny and sexism among public officials.
“[His] statement not only reflects the government’s shallow thought process in resolving issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic, but it also exposes public officials’ sexist and misogynistic mindset,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.
Dinda went on to say that Mahfud’s remarks had explicitly conveyed an intention to subjugate women as a mere object by rendering them analogous to coronavirus.
“A joke that casually objectifies women will only normalise violence against women,” she said, adding that Mahfud’s outlook had also demeaned women as inferior to men.
“When a public official says something condescending to women, it becomes a challenge for us as we continue to push the government to fulfil and protect women’s rights.”