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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Mothers' domestic responsibilities and well-being during the COVID-19 lockdown: the moderating role of gender essentialist beliefs about parenthood

AUTHOR(S)
Kjærsti Thorsteinsen; Elizabeth J. Parks-Stamm; Marie Kvalø (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Sex Roles
The present work investigates how the increased domestic responsibilities created by the Spring 2020 lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic in Norway and gender ideologies relate to the well-being of mothers with elementary school children. In June 2020, a cross-sectional online study including current and retrospective measures with 180 mothers (Mage = 39.96 years, SD = 6.11) of elementary school children across Norway was conducted. First, in line with earlier research on the strain of the pandemic on parents, and especially mothers, this study found that Norwegian mothers’ well-being during the lockdown significantly declined compared to before the lockdown (both measured retrospectively). Furthermore, mothers’ well-being after the Spring 2020 lockdown did not immediately return to pre-lockdown levels. Finally, it predicted that gender ideologies (i.e., essentialist beliefs about parenthood) would exacerbate the negative impact of increased domestic responsibilities (i.e., childcare and housework) on mothers’ well-being (i.e., higher standard-higher stress hypothesis).
Girls’ education and women’s equality: how to get more out of the world’s most promising investment

AUTHOR(S)
Shelby Carvalho; David Evans

Institution: Center for Global Development
Published: May 2022

To hear talk of it, you might think educating girls is a silver bullet to solve all the world’s ills. A large and still growing collection of research demonstrates the wide-ranging benefits of girls’ education. Recent research has nuanced some of those findings, but the fundamental result stands: Educating girls is good for girls and good for the people around them. This report goes beyond what works to get girls in school and learning—still very important questions—to probe how education can work together with other societal systems and structures to provide better lifetime opportunities for women.

Women at the last mile: how investments in gender equality have kept health systems running during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Anushka Kalyanpur; Ihlas Altinci; Emmanuel Ojwang (et al.)

Institution: CARE
Published: May 2022
Even before COVID-19, investments in health systems—and especially female health workers—were too low. In 2019 the world had a gap of 18 million health workers. Two years and fifteen million deaths later, we have at least 26 million fewer health workers than we need. , This leaves us severely underprepared for future pandemics and other major shocks to the health system, including conflict and climate change. We must invest in health systems that don’t just meet the needs of today, but that are also resilient in the face of future shocks. Pandemic preparedness requires gender equality: equal recognition, support, and fair pay for ALL health workers. Globally, 70% of health workers are women, but half of their work is unpaid. We must do more to support these health workers. The glimmers of success in COVID-19 built on previous investments in women health workers, their skills, and equality in health systems. Pre-existing investments in equality helped systems respond to COVID-19. Increased investments will build better resilience for the crises that come next. This report highlights case studies and lessons learned from 20 countries during COVID-19.
Assessing the damage: early evidence on impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on girls and women in Africa
Institution: The World Bank
Published: April 2022
At the onset of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there was global concern about the negative indirect impacts the crisis would have on girls and women and their human capital. Two years into the crisis, this brief summarizes the evidence to date on how the prediction of a shadow crisis has played out in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).The brief is intended as a call to action for policymakers, since available research sets off multiple alarm bells. It also proposes urgent policy responses. Evidence to date confirms that the COVID-19 crisis has had profound negative impacts on the education, health, employment and empowerment of girls and women including in SSA. Available data is still limited, but what is known to date suggests that we are seeing the tip of an iceberg. Many impacts will have long term repercussions for girls’ and women’s human capital. Decision makers are at a pivotal moment to invest now in women and girls, to neutralize immediate but also prolonged costs to individuals, societies and economies.
Children’s human rights in the contexts of domestic abuse and COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Fiona Morrison; Claire Houghton

Published: April 2022   Journal: The International Journal of Human Rights
Domestic abuse is a simultaneous attack on children’s and women’s human rights. Research underlines the relationality of domestic abuse, unveiling the entwined experiences of children and women. While these experiences may be connected, their rights are distinct and there are risks in viewing mothers as proxies for their children. Policy measures introduced to address COVID-19 had profound impacts on the lives of children and women experiencing domestic abuse. Drawing on an independent Children’s Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) in Scotland, the article explores the impacts such policy measures had on children’s human rights in the context of domestic abuse. It offers insight on the opportunities and limitations of CRIAs when considering the issue of domestic abuse. CRIAs make visible and prioritise children’s human rights; however, they risk masking the relationality of rights and therefore the implementation of children’s human rights. By integrating human rights instruments – the UNCRC and the Istanbul Convention – the article offers ways to recognise children as victims of domestic abuse, while supporting connections between their rights and the women’s rights. It concludes that a Joint Protocol between the UNCRC and the Istanbul Convention is needed to integrate children’s human rights with the relationality of domestic abuse.
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.
COVID-19 and a “crisis of care”: a feminist analysis of public policy responses to paid and unpaid care and domestic work

AUTHOR(S)
Elena Camilletti; Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed

Published: February 2022   Journal: International Labour Review
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted gender inequalities, increasing the amount of unpaid care weighing on women and girls, and the vulnerabilities faced by paid care workers, often women working informally. Using a global database on social protection responses to COVID-19 that focuses on social assistance, social insurance and labour market programmes, this article considers whether and how these responses have integrated care considerations.
The impact of COVID-19 on gender equality and food security in the Arab region with a focus on the Sudan and Iraq
This rapid gender analysis (RGA) explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender equality and food security in the Arab region. It is a joint collaboration between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and CARE International (CARE). This collaboration recognizes the need to expand the evidence base on gender-differentiated impacts of crises for informed recovery and response planning, while highlighting the imperative of collecting sex- and age-disaggregated data (SADD) more consistently.
Systems thinking in COVID-19 recovery is urgently needed to deliver sustainable development for women and girls

AUTHOR(S)
Jessica Omukuti; Matt Barlow; Maria Eugenia Giraudo (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: The Lancet Planetary Health
In low-income and middle-income countries, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, the COVID-19 pandemic has had substantial implications for women's wellbeing. Policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the gendered aspect of pandemics; however, addressing the gendered implications of the COVID-19 pandemic comprehensively and effectively requires a planetary health perspective that embraces systems thinking to inequalities. This Viewpoint is based on collective reflections from research done by the authors on COVID-19 responses by international and regional organisations, and national governments, in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa between June, 2020, and June, 2021. A range of international and regional actors have made important policy recommendations to address the gendered implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on women's health and wellbeing since the start of the pandemic. However, national-level policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have been partial and inconsistent with regards to gender in both sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, largely failing to recognise the multiple drivers of gendered health inequalities.
Humanitarians and the women, peace and security agenda during Covid-19
Institution: Gender and development network
Published: December 2021

The Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda’s call to transform crisis response by coordinating across the “triple nexus” is more important than ever. Gender justice is intimately linked to peace and disarmament, economic prosperity and recovery, and human rights, so breaking down divisions between humanitarianism, peacebuilding and development will further efforts at a more peaceful and just world. At this pivotal moment for carving out an agenda beyond 2021, the UK can take leadership by making WPS a foundational part of gender-responsive humanitarian preparedness, response and recovery in the wake of Covid-19. This briefing, produced by the GADN Humanitarian Working Group in collaboration with the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG), Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS UK), Fe-Male, the Gender Equality Network and the Gender Violence Recovery Centre, sets out key themes emerging from the panel discussion among women humanitarians in Myanmar, Kenya and Lebanon. We demonstrate first that the WPS agenda is key to putting gender at the heart of effective humanitarian response, and second that responses led by women, girls and gender-diverse people are critical for truly gender-responsive humanitarian action.

WeWorld index 2021: women and children in a changing world

AUTHOR(S)
Elena Caneva; Martina Albini; Stefano Piziali (et al.)

Institution: WeWorld
Published: November 2021

The seventh edition of the WeWorld Index globally evaluates in which dimensions there are forms of inclusion/exclusion of women and children, and captures their living conditions in more than 170 countries in the world. The Index is composed of 34 indicators, grouped into 17 dimensions, which refer to 4 fundamental areas for the implementation of the rights of women and children: health, education, economy and society, in addition to the environmental and cultural context, which is determinant for the quality of life of these two social categories. As the previous edition, the WeWorld Index 2021 considers the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, adding 3 new indicators to the pre-existing 34. In order to integrate quantitative data, the Index is enriched with interviews to witnesses and experts who illustrate, for their direct knowledge, qualitative aspects that numbers alone would not be able to provide.

Providing therapeutic services to women and children who have experienced intimate partner violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges and learnings

AUTHOR(S)
Alison Fogarty; Priscilla Savopoulos; Monique Seymour (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2021.105365

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, many therapeutic services for children and their parents who had experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) were required to rapidly transition to telehealth. The current study aims to explore parents' experiences of participating in a parent-child telehealth intervention during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study also aimed at exploring clinicians' experiences of delivering the service, including key strengths and challenges. Participants were five mothers who took part in Berry Street's Restoring Childhood service during the COVID-19 pandemic in Melbourne, Australia, and 14 Restoring Childhood clinicians, delivering the service across metropolitan and regional sites

Global Girlhood Report 2021: girls’ rights in crisis
Institution: Save the Children
Published: October 2021
From its outset, the COVID-19 pandemic was more than a devastating global health emergency. Crises—including climate change-driven disasters, past epidemics such as Ebola and Zika Virus, and violent conflict—have long been understood to have disproportionate consequences for women and girls. The COVID-19 crisis is no exception, with early evidence revealing that containment measures and the resulting economic instability have increased girls’ exposure to violence, reduced access to essential services and information, and directly impacted girls’ ability to realise their rights. The Global Girlhood Report 2021 attempts to enhance our collective understanding of how the predicted impacts of the pandemic have been realised for girls while also recognising how much is still unknown.
The 2021 Asia-Pacific girls report

AUTHOR(S)
Chamaiporn Siangyen; Caterina Grasso; Reylynne Dela Paz (et al.)

Institution: Plan International
Published: September 2021

The 2021 Asia-Pacific Girls Report is Plan International’s annual research report concerning girls in the Asia-Pacific region. It is part of our contribution towards the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, committed to equitable and inclusive development for girls and young women. This report highlights both the civic engagement activities of young female activists in the Asia-Pacific and the unique challenges girls and young women face throughout the region. As part of this research, Plan International conducted interviews with sector-based experts and young female activists to assess the current situation in the region. Plan International developed and updated the Asia and Pacific Girls’ Leadership Indexes to measure the opportunities of adolescent girls and young women to develop and demonstrate their leadership capabilities, their unique voice in the region, the gaining of support for their choices and collective and individual power.

Social and economic situation of Palestinian women and girls July 2018 - June 2020
The present report reviews the situation of Palestinian women and girls during the period July 2018 – June 2020, focusing on political, social, economic and human rights developments. Building on research by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on the status of Palestinian women and girls, and drawing upon the most recent data, the present report highlights the complex situation of women and girls, revealing both progress and setbacks in the context of the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the blockade on Gaza.
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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.