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Feminization of poverty is one of the strategic issues at the global level that severely affects female groups since a long time ago in developing countries like Indonesia.

But tragically, it remains undetected by the development policymakers as the affected women, especially the low educated or even the illiterate ones, try to survive by wrestling with marginal livelihoods which are also undetected, such as waste collectors, beggars, odd jobs, and other servitudes unlisted in the development statistics.

As a result, the development policymakers fail to accommodate the issues of feminization of poverty in development planning so this problem become increasingly severe, complex, and chronic.

A series of research carried out by the activists of Veganindo Foundation since 2016 discovered at least three main factors lying behind the outbreak of the feminization of poverty in Indonesia, namely:

• Compared to men, the bargaining position of women at domestic level is still very weak. At the same time, women’s social responsibility is much heavier than men's. Women as housewives, for example, are never involved in the decision making at domestic level. All public as well as domestic decisions are dominated by men. On the contrary, most duties and responsibilities at domestic level are put upon women. The power of a husband is ever much greater than the power of a wife. A husband is easier to divorce his wife than vice versa. And if there is a divorce, most of the domestic responsibilities – primarily raising children – must be done by women. A widower is also much easier to earn money than a widow is because widows, unlike widowers, are strictly limited by the cultural norms. As a result, the widows are much more vulnerable to poverty than the widowers. All of these situations increasingly trigger the gender inequality as well as inequity that positions women as a loser for the men.

• In the meantime, the food prices in all parts of the country continue to go up significantly from year to year and are increasingly unreachable by the poor’s purchasing power, especially by needy women as the breadwinners in their family. As the consequence, the women forcedly try to meet the food needs of their family members by buying cheapest foods although the quality is the lowest and are not worth consumed. This triggers a high rate of morbidity among the needy women along with all their family members. But these people have no choice.

• Feminization of poverty also makes the poor women unable to buy meat whose price is skyrocketing. In order to meet the needs of side dishes in their family, they are forced to eat animal waste products whose prices are the lowest such as the bowels, skins, clotted blood, the tongues, and so forth. This sparks the high prevalence of deadly diseases among the needy women and their family members, primarily coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, gout, etc.



These three issues enormously inhibit the women being entangled in feminization of poverty and all their family members to get rid of poverty.

Based on rigorous studies, the founders of Veganindo Foundation firmly believe that veganism is one of the most effective, efficient, and eco-friendly solutions in order to release the helpless women from feminization of poverty. Because by being a vegan, the cost of eating for everyone becomes very low.

Even the cost of eating is free if each vegan planted her own vegetables and fruits for daily consumption. If she grew more than she consumes, and then she sold the surpluses, then surely she will also earn income. In addition, veganism diet is proved to be able to improve the health status as well as the life expectancy of the followers. The carbon footprint is also very less, so it is really eco-friendly.

In this relation, since its inception in 2016 until now Veganindo Foundation has been actively researching and developing veganism models that could help women facing the feminization of poverty to get out of the poverty and consequent morbidity.

One of the models is what we call independent vegan lifestyle. In this context, we motivate, train, and facilitate poor women to be self-sufficient vegans who manage organic farms by planting their own food crops and herbal crops that they need every day. Due to this, they can get rid of hunger and compulsion of eating cheap foods which are not feasible or harmful to consume.

In addition, they manage to grow vegetables and fruits in quantities more than their daily need and sell the surpluses so they can have financial independence and, slowly but surely, escape from absolute poverty.

Indeed, the poor women – who live in rural areas, urban slums, let alone in coastal areas – should be impossible for farming because they have no land at all. How can they farm properly?

Luckily, the founders of Veganindo Foundation since the beginning has been raising strategic cooperation with another NGO named Komunitas Penadbiran Sampah (KPS) or Waste Governance Community. The founders and managers of KPS are coincidently the followers of environmental veganism as well.

Learning from KPS, since the last few years, Veganindo Foundation has successfully developed an organic farming model without land for landless poor women, namely by planting a variety of food crops and herbal crops organically on pots upcycled from waste plastic bottles and bags. Thanks to this program, we have successfully helped a significant number of our beneficiaries (women as the victims of feminization of poverty) escape from hunger and poverty in an enormously efficient and effective way while helping to protect natural ecosystems, mainly rivers and oceans, from the siege of plastic waste.





Secretariat: Jl. Nanas Raya RT 008 RW 02 Jakarta Timur, Jakarta Capital City, Indonesia
Zip code: 13120   -   Mobile: +6285697001818   -   Email: veganindo@ornop.id
Website: www.veganindo.ornop.id


Updated: March 8, 2019