IOM Indonesia Chief of Mission, Louis Hoffmann, message on the International Women's Day 2022

A Rohingya female refugee registers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Lhokseumawe (Indonesia). Photo: Ariani Hasanah Soejoeti/ IOM Indonesia

Happy International Women's Day (IWD) 2022!


Today, 8 March, is an especially important moment for us to reflect on the important contributions of women to a sustainable future for everyone, and to celebrate the strides made in women's empowerment globally.

It’s also an important moment to reflect on some of the most significant impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which have affected migrants so heavily and in so many cases have disproportionately impacted women.

According to the World Migration Report, COVID-19 has proved to be a great disrupter, negatively impacting migrants, including Indonesians around the world, with businesses forced to close and workers laid off or furloughed.  More than two years on, the effects of COVID-19 continue to have a particularly negative impact on women migrants who work in some of the most heavily impacted areas of the economy, and with some of the least protections such as equitable access to health services including sexual and reproductive health (SRH), maternal health, and vaccinations.

However, despite the particular risks and challenges faced by women, at the same time we also recognize that women and girls are effective and influential leaders and change-makers. They are involved in sustainability initiatives worldwide, and their participation and leadership are essential to advancing opportunities for safe, regular, and orderly migration.

In addressing some of the most central challenges in our world today, including not only promoting a sustainable recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic but also addressing the growing impacts of climate change which increasingly lead to displacement, we will need to ensure the particular needs of women are addressed.  More so, we must ensure that women are equitably and effectively included in all stages of our response to improving migrant journeys and work experiences, and to bringing their leadership and innovation to bear on the growing importance of addressing climate change as a way of ensuring migration remains a choice rather than a necessity.

This year, IOM is pleased to participate in a social media campaign jointly with several other UN agencies, from 7 to 23 March, that involves an Instagram (IG) Takeover of the UN account @UNINDONESIA. We invite Influencers, environmental and climate change activists, public figures, and policymakers to answer questions from the general public through the UN in Indonesia's Instagram account.

In support of this campaign, IOM extended an invitation to the Regent of North Luwu, as a Guest Speaker, who has provided inspired leadership to disaster displacement in her home district, and will join to answer questions on "Migration and Climate Change: A Matter of Gender Equality."

We are pleased too that refugees in Indonesia are participating in commemorating this year’s IWD.  In addition to a movie screening for refugee women and girls now resident in temporary shelters, the IOM team in Lhokseumawe is organizing a series of activities such as henna and doodle art competitions, led by refugee women.

As Director General Antonio Vitorino has said in his video message, “the empowerment of women and girls around the world, including those on the move, is a necessary foundation for a peaceful and sustainable future.”

Let’s continue to celebrate women’s day. Not only today, but by continuing to work together, inclusively, to ensure we are building a sustainable future through gender equality today, and by leading efforts to ensure that, across society, we are working to reach those left furthest behind.


For media queries, please contact:

Ariani Hasanah Soejoeti at IOM Indonesia, email:, Tel. +628122726308

SDG 5 - Gender Equality
SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities