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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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1 - 15 of 179
Advancing girls’ education in light of COVID-19 in East Africa: a synthesis report
Institution: Population Council
Published: November 2021
Over a billion students around the world have been affected by school closures in the past year and a half (March 2020 to August 2021) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The persistence of the pandemic and the severity of the risks posed by the disruption of education necessitate a strong understanding of the present state of girls’ education in East Africa. This study aimed to understand the current problems posed by COVID-19 for girls’ education in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda; identify the gaps in understanding with regard to these problems; and illuminate solutions. The study is based on a rapid desk review of peer-review and grey literature, coupled with nearly 30 key informant interviews with a range of East African organizations working on education and/or gender issues. These methods were complemented by an interactive, participatory workshop during which interviewees and other education stakeholders validated and supplemented the initial study results. Key findings from the study are summarized below
Learning loss among adolescent girls during the COVID-19 pandemic in rural Bangladesh

AUTHOR(S)
S. Amin; I. M.I. Hossain; S. Ainul (et al.)

Institution: Population Council, *UNICEF
Published: November 2021

Poor learning remains a central challenge in Bangladesh despite considerable progress in advancing schooling access and reducing gender gaps in education. The learning crisis is feared to have been exacerbated during extended school closures and limited alternative opportunities for schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic. This brief summarizes findings on learning loss among adolescent girls during the pandemic in rural Bangladesh.

Evaluation of adolescent girls and Young Women’s Access to Education During COVID-19
Institution: Plan International
Published: November 2021

Covid-19 has had an enormous impact on education at every level all over the world. In many East and Southern African countries, the experience of the pandemic followed the effects of measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 severely effecting Africa’s education system. African countries dealt with the pandemic and are working to mitigate its effect on their education systems. This report, and the study findings behind it, provides a unique insight into the perspectives of girls, education actors and experts regarding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on education in five countries of Egypt, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Rwanda. It recognizes that the continued closure of schools has exposed millions of young women and adolescent girls to increasing protection risks and severely threatens their futures are girls out of schools are less likely to resume.

COVID’s Educational Time Bomb: Out of school children global snapshot
Published: November 2021
A snapshot survey carried out by Save the Children in 6 countries where schools have reopened, shows that 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, up to 1 in 5 of the most vulnerable children have not returned. This is not typically because of fear of the virus itself, but a direct result of child labour, child marriage, financial hardship, relocation and other consequences of the pandemic – and girls are particularly at risk. 1 in 5 children at schools we surveyed have not returned to school and are at risk of dropping out for good – with potentially devastating consequences for their lives and their country’s future. Eighteen months into this crisis, the clock is ticking to get millions of children back to school. We must act now and invest in getting the world’s children safely back to school, to ensure that generations of the most vulnerable children are not left behind.
From “nobody's clapping for us” to “bad moms”: COVID-19 and the circle of childcare in Canada

AUTHOR(S)
Julia Smith

Published: October 2021   Journal: Gender, Work & Organization
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of childcare to national economies in general and women's economic participation in particular, spurring renewed interest in childcare policy in many countries that have implemented lockdowns. This paper adopts a circle of care framework to analyzes how COVID-19 has affected paid childcare, unpaid childcare and other paid work, and the relationship between these sectors. Analysis is grounded in the lived experiences of parents and childcare educators, documented through 16 semi-structured interviews during the initial lockdown (March–June 2020) in British Columbia, Canada. Experiences from educators suggest their safety was not prioritized, and that their contributions were undervalued and went unrecognized. Mothers, who provided the majority of unpaid care, not only lost income due to care demands, but struggled to access necessities, with some reporting increased personal insecurity. Those attempting to work from home also experienced feelings of guilt and distress as they tried to manage the triple burden. Similarities of experiences across the circle of care suggest the COVID-19 childcare policy response in BC Canada downloaded care responsibilities on to women without corresponding recognition or support, causing women to absorb the costs of care work, with potential long-term negative effects on women's careers and well-being, as well as on the resilience of the circle of care.
COVID-19 and women and girls’ health in low and middle-income countries: an updated review of the evidence

AUTHOR(S)
Abiola Awofeso; Lotus McDougal; Y-Ling Chi (et al.)

Institution: Center for Global Development
Published: October 2021

In an updated review of how the COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting women’s and girls’ health in low- and middle-income contexts, this study examined 247 studies between January and March 2021 (peer-reviewed papers, pre-prints, and working papers that met specific search terms, and contained empirical analyses and findings). This collection of evidence largely reinforces previous findings that in many areas, women are bearing the greatest burdens of the crisis. Evidence continues to mount that there has been disruption of access to and utilization of maternal health services and contraceptive services, disproportionately worse mental health for women versus men, as well as worsened mental health for pregnant women during the pandemic. This review also identifies new research indicating mixed evidence on COVID-19- related knowledge and behaviors and COVID-19 morbidity and mortality by gender. Gaps remain on several health issues (e.g., non-communicable diseases, infectious diseases other than HIV). Existing research also focuses primarily on describing and quantifying the burden of these gendered health impacts, rather than sharing effective mitigation strategies.

Stay home and be unfair: the amplification of inequalities among families with young children during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Marco Pitzalis; Emanuela Spanò

Published: October 2021   Journal: European Journal of Education
This article focuses on the educational practices and strategies mobilised by Italian families with children aged six years and younger, during the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, in 2020. Specifically, we analyse practices and strategies mobilised by families from different social milieus living in rural or urban contexts. We argue that the shift in childcare practices and needs during the pandemic promoted the reaffirmation of traditional gender stereotypes and patterns of gendered labour division through the blurring of temporal and spatial boundaries between paid work, domestic labour and childcare.
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.
He’s working from home and I’m at home trying to work: experiences of childcare and the work–family balance among mothers during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Sara Martucci

Published: October 2021
This article captures mothers’ experiences of the work–family balance and division of household labor during the initial COVID-19 lockdown. Interviews were conducted with twenty-five academics and twenty professionals in other fields. Mothers who split childcare with their partners had a more positive experience of the work–family balance during lockdown, compared with mothers who did the majority of the childcare. The present study adds a new wrinkle into the literature on flexibility and work–family balance: the perception of flexibility and its impact on the division of labor. Academic mothers, who had always had highly “flexible” jobs, were less likely to split childcare with their partners pre-pandemic and thus less likely to have positive experiences of work–family balance during the Spring 2020 lockdown. I argue that perceived flexibility of a partner’s job affected allocation of childcare during the initial stages of the pandemic, a moment that wreaked significant harm on women’s careers.
COVID-19 and digital primary education: impact and strategies for sustainable development

AUTHOR(S)
Sudarshan Maity; Tarak Nath Sahu; Nabanita Sen

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Development Policy and Practice
The present study is based on primary data of 720 students from primary schools in West Bengal, India. With adherence to the Logistic Regression Model, the study investigates and analyses the factors that influence digital learning of primary students during the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Further with the application of Welch’s t-test, comparative study have been conducted based on parameters as village and city school students, private and government school students and gender discrimination. The findings conclude that the school structure; willingness of the school and teachers to conduct virtual classes; availability and accessibility of high-speed internet and economic capability of parents to bear the exorbitant internet charges are significant dimensions in virtual learning of primary section students. The study also confirms that during the pandemic girl students and students from village government schools are the worst hit in comparison to boys who are from city-based schools and private schools respectively.
Characteristics of pandemic work–life balance in Slovenian military families during the lockdown: who has paid the highest price?

AUTHOR(S)
Janja Vuga Beršnak; Živa Humer; Bojana Lobe (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Current Sociology
In April 2020, a survey was conducted among Slovenian military families, being one of the first surveys to be carried out in the country after the outbreak of the pandemic. The military was labeled a crucial institution in the efforts to combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus and was appointed to various activities, leading to a considerable increase in its workload. The burden of care and unpaid work at that time also intensified, becoming shifted onto the military family, particularly civilian female spouses. The survey’s purpose was to measure how military families evaluated their success in balancing between working from home, household work, childcare, and home schooling during the pandemic lockdown. The risk factors were observed on the micro (i.e., lack of extended family support, institutional childcare, and school lockdown) and macro (i.e., military support, national support measures) social levels. The analysis reveals that when it comes to military families the greatest price has been paid by female civilian spouses. The number of children and their age influence parents’ self-evaluation of their success with work–life balance. The results show that big families and families with primary school children have been struggling the most during the lockdown. Surprisingly, dual-serving families felt the most successful.
Assessing the gendered impacts of COVID-19 in Uzbekistan: what data are available?
Institution: UN Women, United Nations Development Programme
Published: October 2021

This brief summarizes the key findings of the assess[1]ment of the availability of data that could contribute to an understanding of the gendered impacts of COVID-19 and would be the basis for gender-responsive, evidence[1]based policy making in Uzbekistan. The assessment was conducted in December 2020 with the support of the UN Women Europe and Central Asia Regional Office in partnership with UNDP Uzbekistan. The focus of the assessment was on data and statistics compiled and disseminated by the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Statistics (SSC) and on recent assessments and studies related to the impact of COVID-19 that have been conducted by different United Nations (UN) organi[1]zations and development partners.

Retraditionalisation? Work patterns of families with children during the pandemic in Italy

AUTHOR(S)
Elisa Brini; Mariya Lenko; Stefani Scherer

Published: October 2021   Journal: Demographic Research

 During the COVID-19 pandemic, employment declined and real incomes fell worldwide. The burden of childcare on families increased and, in many countries, women’s employment fell more than men’s. From a couple-level perspective, changing employment patterns could lead to a retraditionalisation of gender roles between partners, especially for families with dependent children. This study focused on couples with children under 16 and used quarterly large-scale micro data (the Italian Labour Force Survey) to examine, through descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regressions, the changes and composition of couples’ work patterns between 2019 and 2020.

Changes in mental health and well-being are associated with living arrangements with parents during COVID-19 among sexual minority young persons in the U.S.

AUTHOR(S)
J o h n P . S a l e r n o; L o n g D o a n; L i a n a C . S a y e r (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Sexual minority young persons may be at risk for compounding mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic due to their existing vulnerabilities for psychological inequities. Indeed, recent research has documented that sexual minority young persons are experiencing compounding psychiatric effects associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, researchers and practitioners have hypothesized that sexual minority youth and young adults may experience unique hardships related to their sexual and gender identities and familial conflict as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and living arrangement changes with their parents and families. This study aims to investigate whether there are changes in sexual minority (and nonsexual minority) young adults’ (SMYAs’) mental health and well-being among those living with and living without their parents before and after the start of COVID-19. Among a cross-sectional sample of SMYAs (n = 294; Mage = 22 years; age range = 18–26) and non-SMYAs (n = 874; Mage = 22 years; age range = 18–26) defined by whether they were living with or living without their parents before and after the start of COVID-19, we retrospectively analyzed changes in psychological distress and well-being. SMYAs who returned to their parents’ homes during post-onset of COVID-19 reported greater mental distress and lower well-being, followed by those who were living with their parents both before and after the start of COVID-19. Patterns were not consistent among non-SMYAs, and lower magnitudes of change were seen. There is a significant public health need for mental health services and family education resources for supporting SMYAs in the context of COVID-19 and beyond. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
Changes in US parents’ domestic labor during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic

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

Published: September 2021   Journal: Sociological Inquiry
Stay-at-home orders and the removal of care and domestic supports during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic substantially disrupted US parents’ work and family lives. Although much is known about changes in US parents’ paid labor arrangements, the evidence regarding changes in unpaid domestic labor has been largely anecdotal. This study uses novel data from 1,025 US parents in different-sex partnerships to provide a descriptive overview of changes in mothers’ and fathers’ participation in, and division of, housework and childcare from March 2020 to the early days of the pandemic (late April 2020).
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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.