The Social Resilience of Women in Coastal Villages of East Java during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, the living conditions of rural women in coastal areas of East Java became increasingly difficult. The aim of this study is to reveal the important roles of women and their social resilience to survive during the pandemic. This research was conducted in poor coastal villages in the province of East Java, namely: 1) Surabaya City with multicultural characteristics; 2) Situbondo Regency with Javanese–Madurese mixed cultural characteristics and 3) Tuban Regency with Javanese cultural characteristics. The subjects of this study were married women who have children. Data collection was conducted for 2 months (June-July 2021) using a structured interview technique (questionnaire) with 185 respondents and an in-depth interview technique with 18 informants, including women and local leaders. The results of this study indicate the “coping” and “adaptive” capacities of women during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although women’s work in these coastal villages was categorized as unskilled work generating little income, women were still working to overcome the direct threat of the pandemic through available resources such as skills, time, family, and neighborhood ties. However, this study shows only a few capacities of the “transformative” type, whereby women have access to assets and assistance from wider social and political networks. This study shows a strong patriarchal culture influencing the lives of poor coastal rural women, but also reveals that the role of women was very important in maintaining family health and meeting income shortages for family needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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


  • Covid-19 pandemic
  • East java
  • Indonesian women
  • Patriarchy
  • Social resilience


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