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Uncovering the Existence and Lives of Women Heads of Household

This book presents a descriptive analysis of the family survey conducted by PEKKA National Secretariat (Seknas PEKKA) jointly with PEKKA communities in 111 villages where PEKKA operates across 17 provinces, 19 districts and 35 subdistricts. The enumeration process adopts the Community-Based Welfare Monitoring System (SPKBK). It was carried out in 2011-2012 by PEKKA members and other local residents. A total of 89,960 families were surveyed, consisting of 15,644 female-headed families (FHFs) and 74,316 male-headed families (MHF). A total population of 321,487 people were enumerated, of whom 159,210 were female and 162,277 male. Collected data were analyzed by the Seknas PEKKA team and SMERU Research Institute.

The SPKBK-PEKKA family survey showed that a family-based enumeration system is more gender sensitive and better able to capture the existence of women family heads and the life conditions of female-headed families, compared to the household-based enumeration system traditionally adopted by numerous government surveys and enumeration processes. The SPKBK-PEKKA survey also revealed that in terms of welfare, FHFs are worse off compared to MHFs. The life condition of FHFs are also relatively worse than MHFs in many respects, including their vulnerability to domestic violence and crime in the form of abuse; possession of civil registry documents; labor force participation and job opportunities; child labor; educational attainment of the head of family and the enrolment rate of their children; access to health care, including for infants and under-fives; and heads or members of the family who have disabilities.  

Based on the SPKBK-PEKKA results, it is recommended that the data collection process for determining the target group for social assistance (e.g., data collected on social protection programs or known as PPLS) uses families as the unit of analysis. It is also necessary to broaden the adoption of a family-based enumeration system to other regions. In addition, further actions in various sectors are equally important, including in expanding social protection program coverage and improving social protection programs, including additional schemes, to be more suitable to the characteristics and conditions of female-headed families.

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