Indonesia Minister Says COVID Like Out Of Control Wife

Story By: Alex Cope, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News

This Indonesian minister has been slammed for sexism after comparing COVID-19 to a wife you “try to control” before “you realise you can’t” and instead “learn to live with”.

Mohammad Mahfud MD, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, made the controversial remarks during an online event and has now been slammed for his “sexist and misogynistic” mindset.

The minister was reported as saying: “I got a meme from [Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister] Pak Luhut yesterday that goes: ‘Coronavirus is like your wife. You try to control it then you realise that you can’t. Then you learn to live with it.”


Dinda Nisa Yura, the chief executive of women’s-rights NGO Solidaritas Perempuan (Women’s Solidarity), has now slammed the minister for his ‘joke’, saying that his comments reflect the “government’s shallow thought process in resolving issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic”.

She added the joke also showed the “misogynistic” and “sexist” mindset of public officials in Indonesia.

Yura also warned that remarks casually objectifying women “will only normalise violence against women”


Indonesian scholar Ariel Heryanto, who works at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, described the comments as “disgusting”.

The minister is yet to respond to the criticism.

Netizen ‘Verduin Peter’ wrote: “Coordinating Legal, Political and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD better start looking for another job, it’s time [President] Jokowi stepped in and cleaned the house as he has surrounded himself with people that are an embarrassment to this great nation.”


According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, Indonesia has suffered 24,538 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,496 related deaths.

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Alex Cope

I am a senior writer and editor of the Golders news agency specialising in sports news from around the world.

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