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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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A gendered pandemic: childcare, homeschooling, and parents' employment during COVID‐19

AUTHOR(S)
Richard J. Petts; Daniel L. Carlson; Joanna R. Pepin

Published: December 2020   Journal: Gender, Work and Organization
The COVID‐19 pandemic has dramatically affected employment, particularly for mothers. Many believe that the loss of childcare and homeschooling requirements are key contributors to this trend, but previous work has been unable to test these hypotheses due to data limitations. This study uses novel data from 989 partnered, US parents to empirically examine whether the loss of childcare and new homeschooling demands are associated with employment outcomes early in the pandemic.
Counting the costs of COVID-19: assessing the impact on gender and the achievement of the SDGs in Indonesia
Institution: UN Women, Indosat Ooredoo
Published: October 2020

OVID-19 has affected Indonesian women and men differently. Although men are more likely to die from the pandemic, women’s mental health is taking a bigger toll. With school closures many women are now spending more time helping their children with schoolwork, and other forms of unpaid care and domestic work have also increased at home. As a result of the crisis, women’s paid work time and access to public transit have decreased, putting their livelihoods at stake. At a time when social distancing measures have rendered traditional data collection methods impossible, these effects are hard to capture. In response to this challenge, UN Women’s has partnered with Indosat Ooredoo to find innovative solutions to pursue data collection. These timely findings are important to inform response policies that meet the needs of women and men.

Beijing+25: generation equality begins with adolescent girls' education
Institution: UNESCO
Published: October 2020

Adolescent girls' education contributes to a virtuous cycle that has proven positive impact on sustainable development. This report aims to examine progress and persistent gaps in our efforts to achieve gender equality in and through education since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995, and to identify priority actions to be implemented within the Beijing+25 process, the Generation Equality Forum's Action Coalitions, and the Sustainable Development Goals. It shows the importance of adolescent girls' education and provides recommendations for collective action – in particular on three priority levers: Comprehensive sexuality education; the participation of adolescent girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); and the development of adolescent girls' leadership – drawing in particular on consultation processes among international organizations, civil society and adolescent girls in the run-up to the Forum. In all areas, specific levers, intersectoral approaches and multi-stakeholder partnerships are promoted.

Estimating the immediate impact of the COVID-19 shock on parental attachment to the labor market and the double bind of mothers

AUTHOR(S)
Misty L. Heggeness

Published: October 2020   Journal: Review of Economics of the Household
This study examines the impact of the COVID-19 shock on parents’ labor supply during the initial stages of the pandemic. Using difference-in-difference estimation and monthly panel data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), I compare labor market attachment, non-work activity, hours worked, and earnings and wages of those in areas with early school closures and stay-in-place orders with those in areas with delayed or no pandemic closures. While there was no immediate impact on detachment or unemployment, mothers with jobs in early closure states were 68.8 percent more likely than mothers in late closure states to have a job but not be working as a result of early shutdowns. There was no effect on working fathers or working women without school age children. Mothers who continued working increased their work hours relative to comparable fathers; this effect, however, appears entirely driven by a reduction in fathers’ hours worked. Overall, the pandemic appears to have induced a unique immediate juggling act for working parents of school age children. Mothers took a week of leave from formal work; fathers working full time, for example, reduced their hours worked by 0.53 hours over the week. While experiences were different for mothers and fathers, each are vulnerable to scarring and stunted opportunities for career growth and advancement due to the pandemic.
She told us so: rapid gender analysis: filling the data gap to build up equal
Institution: CARE
Published: September 2020

This in-depth research report reveals differing perspectives between women and men when it comes to the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. In a first of its kind data collection, CARE surveyed more than 10,000 people, including 6,200 women and 4,000 men in more than 40 countries. The report reveals three major areas in which women are more negatively experiencing COVID-19: unemployment, lack of food, and a toll on their mental health.

Countries embracing maternal employment have opened schools sooner after COVID-19 lockdowns

AUTHOR(S)
Ansgar Hudde; Natalie Nitsche

Published: September 2020
This study shows that societal gender ideology likely has affected school closure and opening policies. Societies that are more supportive of maternal employment have reopened schools significantly sooner than societies less supportive of maternal employment, relative to other opening measures and net of infection rates. The study contributes novel evidence on the role of attitudes on policy-decision making, and unveils the presence of a potential gender ideology bias in policy-makers’ ad-hoc decision-making under time pressure. The epidemic threat remains high and questions about the operation of schools continue to be a pressing matter. Considering this bias in decision-making can improve further policy-measures during the remainder of the pandemic, and beyond.
Immediate impact of stay-at-home orders to control COVID-19 transmission on socioeconomic conditions, food insecurity, mental health, and intimate partner violence in Bangladeshi women and their families: an interrupted time series

AUTHOR(S)
Jena Derakhshani Hamadani; Mohammed Imrul Hasan; Andrew J. Baldi

Published: August 2020   Journal: The Lancet Global Health
Stay-at-home orders (lockdowns) have been deployed globally to control COVID-19 transmission, and might impair economic conditions and mental health, and exacerbate risk of food insecurity and intimate partner violence. The effect of lockdowns in low-income and middle-income countries must be understood to ensure safe deployment of these interventions in less affluent settings. This article aims to determine the immediate impact of COVID-19 lockdown orders on women and their families in rural Bangladesh.
Child health, remote work and the female wage penalty

AUTHOR(S)
Amairisa Kouki; Robert M. Sauer

Published: August 2020
Using data on American women and the health status of their children, this paper studies the effect of remote work on female earnings. Instrumental variables estimates, which exploit a temporary child health shock as exogenous variation in the propensity to work at home, yield an hourly wage penalty of 77.1 percent. Earnings losses together with positive selection, and alternative first stage regressions, suggest that task re-assignment or lack of social interaction are likely mechanisms. The estimates also have implications for the costs of social distancing during a pandemic and may be especially applicable when children must be temporarily quarantined.
Cite this research | Issue: IZA DP No. 13648 | No. of pages: 24 | Language: English | Topics: Social Protection, Well-being and Equity, Health | Tags: child health, women's employment, COVID-19 response, lockdown | Countries: United States
Spotlight on gender, COVID-19 and the SDGs: Will the pandemic derail hard-won progress on gender equality?
Institution: UN Women
Published: July 2020

This Spotlight paper presents the latest evidence on the gendered impact  of the pandemic, highlights potential and emerging trends, and reflects on the long-term impact of the crisis on the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. First, it presents key facts and figures relating to the gendered impacts of COVID-19. Second, it reflects on the health impacts of COVID-19 on SDG 3 targets. Third, it explores the socioeconomic and political implications of COVID-19 on women and gender across five of the Goals: SDG 1 (poverty), 4 (quality education), 5 (gender equality), 8 (decent work and economic growth) and 10 (reduced inequalities). Fourth, it addresses the intersection of COVID-19 and other inequalities, showcasing the close links with SDGs 5, 6, 10 and 11. The Spotlight concludes by outlining policy priorities drawn from the evidence presented.

Unlocking the lockdown: the gendered effects of COVID-19 on achieving the SDGS in Asia and the Pacific
Institution: UN Women
Published: July 2020

COVID-19 has affected men and women differently. Although more men have died from the pandemic, women’s mental health is taking a bigger toll, their workload at home has multiplied and their economic resources are dwindling. These effects are hard to capture, as social distancing measures have rendered traditional data collection methods impossible. In response to this challenge, UN Women’s Regional Office for Asia and Pacific turned to innovative solutions to pursue data collection at this critical time. UN Women engaged with national governments and mobile network operators to roll out a series of rapid assessment surveys in 11 Asia-Pacific countries.

Under siege: impact of Covid-19 on girls in Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Shimelis Tsegaye Tesemma

Institution: Plan International, African Child Policy Forum
Published: June 2020

Throughout history, women and girls have been affected negatively and at a disproportionately higher rate by the outbreaks of epidemics and pandemics, and COVID-19 hasn’t been an exception. Existing social and cultural norms and practices that underlie structures of systemic gender discrimination and marginalisation glaringly manifest themselves. Otherwise hidden and suppressed attitudes and practices are laid bare as communities and institutions resort to instincts to control and survive within emergency situations. In Africa, an intersection of factors leaves girls and adolescents at greater risk of marginalisation, discrimination and neglect. Gender and social norms have traditionally placed girls at a greater disadvantage than other segments of the population. Pandemics, like other crises, often result in the breakdown of social infrastructure and services, leading to health, transport, food, sanitation, legal, security and other governance structures being temporarily contracted or becoming dysfunctional. This may result in increased exposure of women and children to human rights abuses, including exposure to gender-based violence.

Girl-focused life skills interventions at a distance

AUTHOR(S)
Tal Rafaeli

Institution: Institute of Development Studies
Published: April 2020
This rapid review explores the evidence and lessons learned about engaging girls in life skills interventions at a distance (i.e. through mobile, online, radio or other) both in emergency and non-emergency settings. The purpose of the review is to assist programmes in identifying relevant and effective ways to continue and build girls’ life skills remotely during the widespread school closures and quarantine of the COVID-19 crisis (Albrectsen and Giannini, 2020). The main interest of the review is emergency contexts, however, the limited evidence as well as the potential for learning from programmes from non-emergency settings, led to the inclusion of non-emergency settings in the review.
COVID-19 and ending violence against women and girls
Institution: UN Women
Published: April 2020
This brief highlights emerging evidence of the impact of the recent global pandemic of COVID-19 on violence against women and girls. It makes recommendations to be considered by all sectors of society, from governments to international organizations and to civil society organizations, in order to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls, at the onset, during, and after the public health crisis, with examples of actions already taken. It also considers the economic impact of the pandemic and its implications for violence against women and girls in the long term.

It is a living document that draws upon the knowledge and experience of a wide range of experts who support solutions to end violence against women and girls, attentive to the country context in which the crisis is occurring.

Global rapid gender analysis for COVID-19
Institution: CARE, International Rescue Committee
Published: March 2020

This report is for humanitarians working in fragile contexts that are likely to be affected by the COVID-19 crisis. It is organised around broad themes and areas of focus of particular importance to those whose programming advances gender equality and reduces gender inequalities. It seeks to deepen the current gender analysis available by encompassing learning from global gender data available for the COVID-19 public health emergency.

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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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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

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.