In the Workers’ Kampong – Better Work Indonesia raises awareness about improved health and well-being for female garment workers

11 Apr 2013


11 April 2013.

Jakarta – They came in out of the rain in trickles, but by four in the afternoon, Better Work Indonesia had a packed house.

In conjunction with International Women’s Day, Better Work Indonesia held an informal seminar in a community densely populated with female garment workers. On Sunday 10 March, over 50 women from Kelurahan Sukapura Cakung, a Jakarta suburb, gathered to learn about harassment and bullying, health, nutrition and beauty.

Speaking first, Angesty from Yayasan Pulih, a Jakarta-based NGO focusing on mental health of victims of violence, defined harassment and bullying, and provided tangible ways the women could deal with similar situations, not just in the workplace, but also at home.

“Could inappropriate words said by my husband be considered harassment?” asked one participant.

“Of course,” said Angesty. “Harassment can come from your husband too.”

Heavy rain continued to fall outside as more and more women, some with children, filed into the meeting hall and plates of food were passed around.

Next to speak was Ibu Yani, a middle-aged woman with a fiery presentation and an easy laugh. Speaking about sexual reproductive health, Ibu Yani from Yayasan Kusuma Buana, had the audience enraptured. She covered all the basics from male and female anatomy to HIV and sexual transmitted infections, to masturbation, a subject that elicited the most titters and stifled laughter. The presentation screen displayed real images of male and female genitals,and Ibu Yani spoke candidly about the importance of regular check-ups.

“How many of you have had a pap smear?” she asked. No one stirred. Later, a few women came up to ask Ibu Yani privately about getting their first pap smears. She urged the women to actively pursue better health care and information.

Chef Haryo, a prominent television host of “Menu & Venue” on Metro TV, spoke about healthy food options. He warned participants that fast or fried foods are the most popular in Indonesia, but that to keep healthy, one should avoid them. He also offered advice on how to cook vegetables and eat more fruits rather than frying everything.

Lastly, the participants were offered a short training on make-up application and skin care. A team from Oriflame, a cosmetics company, brought along samples and demonstrated how to apply make-up and take care of the skin. The participants found this session to be very interesting, particularly the younger women.

The event ended at seven in the evening, and we shook hands and bid farewell. Till we meet again in a different occasion!

(Originally published by Better Work Indonesia)

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