Survival Strategies of Indonesian Women from Low-Income Families during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Emy Susanti, Siti Kusujiarti, Siti Mas’udah, Tuti Budirahayu, Sudarso

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This study analyzes the survival strategies of Indonesian women from low-income families with different social and geographical backgrounds. The participants of this study are married women with children from poor families who live in the provinces of East Java and West Sumatra, Indonesia. This research uses the survey method; researchers received questionnaire responses from 857 respondents (457 respondents in East Java, and 400 respondents in West Sumatra). The results of this study indicate that the survival strategy of low-income families during the COVID-19 pandemic is based on the strength of their existing social capital, especially with the support of their families and neighbors. Heavy reliance on their internal social capital creates heightened vulnerability; this study reveals that not all low-income families receive assistance or benefits from the central or local governments. External assistance is pivotal to amplify their existing social capital and to enhance their resilience. This study also suggests that the government’s policies designed to support low-income families need to emphasize women’s agency and empowerment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalJournal of International Women's Studies
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Covid-19
  • Family
  • Indonesia
  • Low-income families
  • Survival strategy
  • Women


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