Indonesia: Women in palm oil face casual employment, exposure to pesticides, & lack of social security

Author: Zafirah Zein, Eco-Business, Published on: 28 December 2018

"Women in palm oil: invisible no more?", 3 December 2018

...Many rural women ...referred to as kernet workers...are typically not employed directly by palm oil companies....

...[A]n updated report...highlighted...casual employment, exposure to hazardous pesticides and lack of social security, are problems largely faced by women.

...[R]oles dominated by women, such as palm fruit collection or upkeep of the plantations, are not recognised as permanent jobs in the industry, leaving them with little access to healthcare, insurance or fair wages.

...[A]lso...women maintenance workers were underpaid and worked less than 21 days....

According to Lim Shu Ling...of...Golden-Agri Resources (GAR), the issue of women's work status is more complex and...does not necessarily reflect discrimination....

...She added that many women prefer flexibility in their working hours and are usually juggling a variety of household jobs, which is why most of them are hired as part-time workers....

...61 per cent of women in rural Indonesia work in the agricultural labour force. However, a much lower proportion of women are known to head plantations or occupy other management positions in the industry.

...[C]ompanies can improve the plight of women...[b]ut first, those from the highest levels of management have to understand the risks that women face in the industry before rolling out women's empowerment programmes and female support mechanisms.

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Related companies: Golden Agri-Resources