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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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Experiences of family violence among 2SLGBTQ + youth at risk of, and experiencing, homelessness before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Alex Abramovich; Nelson Pang; Amanda Moss

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health

Family violence is the leading cause of homelessness among youth; however, limited research has examined family violence among 2SLGBTQ + youth experiencing homelessness. The objective of this study was to engage a group of 2SLGBTQ + youth at risk of, and experiencing, homelessness in the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding areas in Ontario, Canada, to examine their experiences of family violence before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. 2SLGBTQ + youth at risk of, and experiencing, homelessness and key informants (service providers) participated in online surveys and one-on-one interviews to assess family violence during the pandemic. Qualitative and quantitative data were analyzed separately and merged for interpretation.

Closing the gap 2: delivering safe and sustainable solutions for girls’ education in crises

AUTHOR(S)
Ruth Naylor

Institution: Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies
Published: May 2022

This paper summarizes the findings of the monitoring report: Mind the Gap 2: Seeking Safe and Sustainable Solutions for Girls’ Education in Crises, which was commissioned by the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) in collaboration with the INEE Reference Group on Girls’ Education in Emergencies. It recommends actions for governments, donors, civil society, collectors and collators of data, and teachers and other education personnel to address the gaps identified in the delivery, planning, funding, and monitoring of girls’ and women’s education in crisis contexts.

Mind the gap 2: seeking safe and sustainable solutions for girls’ education in crises
Institution: Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies
Published: May 2022

This report summarizes progress, gaps, challenges and opportunities in improving education and training for girls and women affected by conflict and crisis. This report monitors progress since the first Mind the Gap report and highlights the following thematic areas: distance education and the digital divide, school-related gender-based violence, and girls’ education during climate crisis.  The report aims to support the Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education’s commitment to enhance the evidence base and monitor progress toward gender-equitable education in crises. The report draws from data on 44 crisis-affected countries, from recent research, and from a set of case studies of interventions in a range of crisis-affected contexts.

Building emotional-political communities to address gendered violence against women and girls during COVID-19 in the favelas of Maré, Rio de Janeiro

AUTHOR(S)
Cathy McIlwaine; Miriam Krenzinger; Moniza Rizzini Ansari (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Social & Cultural Geography
Although the intensification of direct and indirect gendered violence against women during the COVID-19 pandemic has been extensively reported globally, there is limited research on women’s responses to it. Addressing calls to explore the relationships between emotional-affective atmospheres and politics during the pandemic as well as to centre analyses of gendered violence within geography, this paper explores how women in the favelas of Maré, in Rio de Janeiro have developed mutual support, (self)-care and activism in the face of the crisis. Engaging with nascent debates on responses to COVID-19, together with feminist geographical work on resistance to gendered violence, the article adapts the notion of ‘emotional communities’ developed by Colombian anthropologist, Myriam Jimeno, to examine how emotional bonds created among survivors of violence are reconfigured into political action. Drawing on qualitative research with 32 women residents and 9 community actors involved in two core community initiatives in Maré, the paper develops the idea of building reactive and transformative ‘emotional-political communities’ at individual and collective levels to mitigate gendered violence and wider intersectional structural violence. Emotional-political community building is premised on grassroots activism among women and organisations that develops as part of compassionate (self)-care and the quiet rather than spectacular politics of change.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on intimate partner violence during pregnancy: evidence from a multimethods study of recently pregnant women in Ethiopia

AUTHOR(S)
Shannon N. Wood; Robel Yirgu; Abigiya Wondimagegnehu (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: BMJ Open

This multimethods study aimed to: (1) compare the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy pre-COVID-19 and during the COVID-19 pandemic using quantitative data and (2) contextualise pregnant women’s IPV experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic through supplemental interviews. Quantitative analyses use data from Performance Monitoring for Action-Ethiopia, a cohort of 2868 pregnant women that collects data at pregnancy, 6 weeks, 6 months and 1-year postpartum. Following 6-week postpartum survey, in-depth semistructured interviews contextualised experiences of IPV during pregnancy with a subset of participants (n=24).

Intimate partner violence during pregnancy and maternal and child health outcomes: a scoping review of the literature from low-and-middle income countries from 2016 - 2021

AUTHOR(S)
Thao Da Thi Tran; Linda Murray; Thang Van Vo

Published: April 2022   Journal: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

Intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy is significantly associated with negative outcomes for both mother and child. Current evidence indicates an association between low levels of social support and IPV, however there is less evidence from low-and-middle income countries (LMIC) than high-income countries. Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered how women can access social support. Hence since 2020, studies investigating IPV and pregnancy have occurred within the changing social context of the pandemic. This scoping review summarizes the evidence from LMICs about the effects of IPV during pregnancy on maternal and child health. The review includes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social support as mentioned in studies conducted since 2020.

The perceived effects of COVID-19 pandemic on female genital mutilation/cutting and child or forced marriages in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Senegal

AUTHOR(S)
Tammary Esho; Dennis J. Matanda; Timothy Abuya (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

The effects of COVID-19 on harmful traditional practices such Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) and Child or Forced Marriages (CFM) have not been well documented. We examined respondents’ perceptions on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected FGM/C and CFM in Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, and Ethiopia. A cross-sectional study design with a mixed methods approach was used. Data collection on participants’ perceptions on the effects of COVID-19 on FGM/C and CFM took place between October-December 2020. Household surveys targeting women and men aged 15–49 years in Kenya (n = 312), Uganda (n = 278), Ethiopia (n = 251), and Senegal (n = 208) were conducted. Thirty-eight key informant interviews with programme implementers and policymakers were carried out in Kenya (n = 17), Uganda (n = 9), Ethiopia (n = 8), and Senegal (n = 4).

Gender-responsive social protection post–COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Constanza Tabbush; Maja Gavrilovic; Monica Rubio (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Science
COVID-19 has reaffirmed that in the face of crises, social and economic fall-out is gendered. From the risk of job loss and economic instability to rising care responsibilities and the experience of violence inside the home, gender inequalities have tended to widen during the pandemic (12). While countries focus on health and mortality impacts of the disease, a mounting, damaging gendered social and economic crisis threatens to roll back decades of development progress, exposing the fragility of equality gains. Social protection has been a key policy response to address pandemic-related social and economic crises; however, attention to gender has been insufficient. Less than one in five global social protection measures during COVID-19 has addressed gender, such as supporting women in informal employment, mitigating risks of violence, and confronting the unequal distribution of care work. Policy priorities (see the box) must include closing gendered research gaps in the COVID-19 recovery.
WINGS 2022 – The world of India’s Girls: spotlight on adolescent girls amid COVID-19
Institution: Save the Children
Published: March 2022

This research by Save the Children India highlights the disproportionate impact of India’s Covid-19 crisis on girls, with lockdowns and school closures exacerbating existing gender inequalities in the country and hindering girls’ access to health, education, and play. The report, The World of India’s Girls, reveals that only a third (33%) of girls in India attended online classes during lockdown, while two thirds (68%) struggled to access health and nutrition services. A further 80% were unable to access sanitary items due to limited government supplies, lack of money and shop closures. This study was conducted in four states – Delhi, Maharashtra, Bihar, and Telangana, representing the four geographical zones (East, West, North and South) and included a survey, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews.

I was not safe in his house: The COVID-19 pandemic and violence against refugee and migrant girls and women in Italy
Institution: *UNICEF, Washington University in St. Louis
Published: March 2022

This research explored the specific impacts of the pandemic on exposure to gender based violence risks among refugee and migrant girls and women in Italy. The research focused on refugee and migrant girls and women because of the intersectionality of vulnerabilities related to their gender and their migration status. It examined the availability and accessibility of gender based violence service provision over the course of the pandemic, and explored how services adapted in the face of this health emergency.

Gender-based violence during COVID-19 among adolescent girls and young women in Nairobi, Kenya: a mixed-methods prospective study over 18 months

AUTHOR(S)
Michele R. Decker; Kristin Bevilacqua; Shannon N. Wood (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: BMJ Global Health

Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) disproportionately experience gender-based violence (GBV), which can increase during emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic. A cohort of youth ages 15–24 in Nairobi, Kenya was surveyed at three time points over an 18-month period prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic: June–August 2019 (prepandemic), August–October 2020 (12-month follow-up) and May 2021 (18-month follow-up). This study characterised (1) prevalence, relative timing and help-seeking for leading forms of GBV, (2) GBV trajectories over 18 months and (3) associations of individual, dyad and COVID-related factors on GBV trajectories among AGYW (n=612) in Nairobi, Kenya. Virtual focus group discussions (n=12) and interviews (n=40) contextualise quantitative results.

Intersecting disadvantages for married adolescents: life after marriage pre- and post-COVID-19 in contexts of displacement

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah Baird; Maureen Murphy; Jennifer Seager (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health
Although there is a growing evidence base on the drivers of child marriage, comparatively little is known about the experiences of married girls in refugee settings and how their development trajectories diverge from those of their nonmarried peers, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on cross-national panel data from Bangladesh and Jordan, this article explores diversity in child marriage experiences in contexts affected by forced displacement, highlighting how married girls’ well-being differs from that of their unmarried peers, and how COVID-19 has reinforced these differences.
Lebanese crisis forcing youth out of learning, robbing them of their futures: UNICEF survey
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: February 2022

As Lebanon’s triple crisis continues to worsen, youth are struggling to find hope, support and opportunities amid mounting despair. The combined impact of an economic meltdown, the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 Beirut Port explosions are forcing youth from all backgrounds to take on responsibilities beyond their ages, with detrimental impacts on their mental health and on access to opportunities. More and more young people are dropping out of education or any type of learning to engage in ill-paid, irregular and informal work to generate whatever income they can to help their families cope with the mounting challenges. UNICEF’s new assessment shows that 3 in 10 young people in Lebanon have stopped their education, while 4 in 10 reduced spending on education to buy essential items like basic food and medicine. The combined impact of the crises has led to a significant increase in mental health issues among young people, resulting in risky behaviour and substance abuse, as well as an increase in gender-based violence (GBV). Approximately one in four adolescents in Lebanon suffers from a psychiatric disorder. Alarmingly, 94 per cent of adolescents with a mental disorder have not sought any treatment. In September 2021, UNICEF conducted a Youth-Focused Rapid Assessment (YFRA), interviewing around 900 youth and adolescents aged 15 to 246 across Lebanon. One in four reported often feeling depressed and just over half the respondents said their lives worsened over the past year.

Leveraging data and partnerships: strengthening girls' education in emergencies with WROs
Institution: Equal Measures 2030
Published: January 2022

For girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, education can be a ladder out of poverty and a way to break cycles of abuse and violence. Yet, there are still steep gender-related barriers to a quality and safe education such as gender-based violence, discrimination, child and forced marriage, lack of access to healthcare and menstrual hygiene products, unpaid domestic labour, and the prioritization of boys’ education. Even girls who do access education face a range of challenges, including poor quality facilities, large class sizes, and a lack of qualified female teachers and staff. For girls in fragile and conflict-affected areas, the threats can include kidnapping, injury, forced recruitment, and displacement. With the COVID-19 pandemic, those challenges have only increased. There are several stakeholders working to reduce these barriers and make sure that girls who must access their education in emergency situations can do so safely and effectively. They are also trying to make sure that the education available is of high quality and sensitive to their unique needs. In 2021, the Government of Canada supported a partnership with Equal Measures 2030 and its in-country partners FAWE and IPBF, based in Kenya and Burkina Faso, respectively, to look at how to strengthen the equitable and coordinated provision of education for girls and women in both countries. The result was research and advocacy that aimed to make the education systems of both countries more data-driven and gender-responsive. This report details the experiences, findings, and recommendations encapsulated in our work.

Spanish youth at the crossroads of gender and sexuality during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Miguel Ángel López-Sáez; R. Lucas Platero

Published: January 2022   Journal: European Journal of Women's Studies
This study examines some of the perceptions amongst Spanish LGBTQ+ youth during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent confinement and lockdown measures, between March and May 2020. During this time, many of these young people were forced to return to their family homes and restrict their social relations. This new situation often exposed them to forms of violence from which there was no escape, with negative consequences for their psychosocial health. The study evaluates the correlations between perceived social support, burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness and the people with whom LGBTQ+ youth lived during confinement. A descriptive and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and bivariate correlations is used to examine the responses of 394 LGBTQ+ youth, between 17 and 21 years of age, residing in Spain.
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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.

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UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.