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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 46
The evolving impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender inequality in the US labor market: the COVID motherhood penalty

AUTHOR(S)
Kenneth A. Couch; Robert W. Fairlie; Huanan Xu

Published: January 2022   Journal: Economic Inquiry
This study explored whether COVID-19 disproportionately affected women in the labor market using Current Population Survey data through the end of 2020. It found that male–female gaps in the employment-to-population ratio and hours worked for women with school-age children have widened but not for those with younger children. Triple-difference estimates are consistent with most of the reductions observed for women with school-age children being attributable to additional childcare responsibilities (the “COVID motherhood penalty”). Conducting decompositions, it found women had a greater likelihood to telework, higher education levels and a less-impacted occupational distribution, which all contributed to lessening negative impacts relative to men.
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.
Vignettes of mothering through the pandemic: a gendered perspective of challenges and making meaning of motherhood in India

AUTHOR(S)
Ketoki Mazumdar; Isha Sen; Sneha Parekh

Published: December 2021   Journal: Women's Studies International Forum
The current exploratory study endeavoured to understand the lived experiences of Indian mothers with children below the age of 10 during the COVID-19 pandemic through a feminist lens. Vignettes of two mothers from different occupational backgrounds and family units were chosen. Through in-depth interviews, and using a thematic analysis framework, themes of increased household and childcare responsibilities, evolving socio-cultural gender roles, self-compassion, self-care and meaning making emerged from the narratives. Findings indicate heightened inequalities and efforts from spouses to reduce this gap. Mothers responded by choosing a more compassionate approach towards themselves and in their mothering practices and thus making meaning of their experiences through the pandemic. Results indicate a need to establish and enforce stronger policies around recognizing and appreciating unpaid care and domestic work in keeping with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5.
The ignored pandemic: the dual crises of gender-based violence and Covid-19

AUTHOR(S)
Rowan Harvey

Institution: Oxfam
Published: November 2021

Gender Based Violence (GBV) is a global pandemic existing in all social groups across the globe, yet it has largely been ignored in the COVID-19 response and recovery plans. It is evident that the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified GBV, including domestic violence and intimate partner violence amongst other forms of violations, but the investments in GBV prevention and response are dramatically inadequate, with just 0.0002% of the overall COVID-19 response funding opportunities going into it. Barriers to achieving gender justice, such as harmful social norms, continue to exist, but progress made since the start of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign show that there are solutions, and feminist activism has been a driving force for progress on eliminating gender-based violence.

Gender and educational inequalities during the COVID-19 pandemic: preliminary insights from Poland

AUTHOR(S)
Małgorzata Krywult-Albańska; Łukasz Albański

Published: November 2021   Journal: Sustainability
The global pandemic of COVID-19 has had a profound impact on many spheres of social life across the world. One of them has been the deepening of social inequalities and the aggravating of discrimination based on gender. Emerging studies in the field of education and occupation systems point to the fact that women seem to have been particularly affected, along with layoffs in those sectors of the economy where female staffs prevail. Additionally, in many countries, the burden of combining professional careers and supporting the education of young children falls disproportionately on mothers. These transformations pose a challenge to meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, wherein gender equality is an important factor. This article uses official statistical data to examine gender and educational structures during the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland, set against the backdrop of other European nations and analyzed in the context of sustainability. Have educational and gender inequalities been exacerbated as data from other countries suggest? In order to answer this question, the article traces changes in the education system in Poland and their implications for gender structures. The latter have also been affected by transformations on the labor market in various sectors of the economy, therefore, the second part of the analysis focuses on the labor market changes during the pandemic. The final section offers conclusions on the implications of the pandemic for the studied issues. Throughout the article, we apply the principles of unobtrusive research. Following the theoretical framework outlined in the first part of the paper, we carry out a descriptive analysis of existing statistical data collected by the Eurostat. These official statistics are supplemented by an overview of public opinion polls to allow for perspectives on structural changes, as they are perceived by those affected by them.
Telecommuting and gender inequalities in parents' paid and unpaid work before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Thomas Lyttelton; Emma Zang; Kelly Musick

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of Marriage and Family

This study examines the relationship between telecommuting and gender inequalities in parents' time use at home and on the job before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telecommuting is a potential strategy for addressing the competing demands of work and home and the gendered ways in which they play out. Limited evidence is mixed, however, on the implications of telecommuting for mothers' and fathers' time in paid and unpaid work. The massive increase in telecommuting due to COVID-19 underscores the critical need to address this gap in the literature.

Gendering boundary work: Experiences of work–family practices among Finnish working parents during COVID-19 lockdown

AUTHOR(S)
Katri Otonkorpi-Lehtoranta; Milla Salin Hakovirta; Anniina Kaittila

Published: November 2021   Journal: Gender, Work & Organisation
In the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak and governmental lockdowns changed the everyday lives of families with children worldwide. Due to remote work recommendations and the closing of school premises and childcare centers, work–family boundaries became blurred in many families. This study examines the possibly gendered boundary work practices among Finnish parents during the COVID-19 lockdown in spring 2020 by asking, how do parents perceive the blurring of work–family boundaries? What kind of boundary work practices did families develop to manage their work and family roles, and were these practices gendered and how? Boundary practices are analyzed by combining theories of doing boundaries and gender theories in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and applying them to survey data.
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.
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.
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 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).
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.

Contrasts and ambivalences in French parents’ experiences regarding changes in eating and cooking behaviours during the COVID-19 lockdown

AUTHOR(S)
Kaat Philippe; Sylvie Issanchou; Sandrine Monnery-Patris

Published: September 2021   Journal: Food Quality and Preference
Using open-ended questions, this study explored parents’ experiences regarding changes in their family’s food-related behaviours during the first COVID-19 lockdown in France (March-May 2020). Parents (N=498, 72% mothers) of children aged 3-12 years described which food-related changes they (1) perceived as positive during the lockdown, (2) perceived as negative, and (3) would like to maintain after the lockdown. A thematic analysis revealed that parents appreciated the choice of more local, fresh foods, the time to prepare food (home-made dishes, new recipes) and cooking and eating together with the family. In contrast, some parents highlighted a burden imposed by the increased food preparation at home. They also described a higher intake of unhealthy, palatable food (or the temptation to do so), and weight concerns. Parents would like to maintain their choice of local, fresh foods, and to continue spending more time together around food but doubt the feasibility after the lockdown. The results revealed many inter- and intra-individual contrasts in parents’ answers. An ambivalent attitude toward food pleasure was demonstrated: the sensory/commensal pleasure of eating versus the concerns about an increased intake of pleasurable food. Additionally, gender differences were observed: mothers perceived the preparation of additional meals, for example, more often as a burden than fathers. This study revealed intimate perceptions of the impact of the lockdown on eating habits in families. They give insight into possible facilitators and barriers (e.g., time) for the adoption of recommended eating and cooking behaviours in families, beyond the pandemic.
Tracking the impact of COVID-19 on adolescent girls in Kenya : special edition COVID-19 barometer
Institution: *UNICEF, Shujaaz Inc.
Published: August 2021

One of the objectives of this collaboration is to produce a range of youth-led, data-driven research products, providing insight into the most effective ways to support young people in East Africa. This special edition Barometer is designed to provide a snapshot into the lives of Kenyan girls aged 15-19 (also referred to as adolescent girls) in 2021. This edition of COVID-19 Barometer includes new insights from Shujaaz Inc’s annual national youth survey, which draws on face-to-face interviews with 2,015 young people conducted between December 2020 and January 2021. Drawing on additional qualitative research, the Barometer aims to provide an update on the challenges, lifestyles, priorities and aspirations of adolescent girls, during a turbulent pandemic. This edition focuses on key topics including education, sexual and reproductive health, financial security, mental wellbeing and resilience. We hope it provides a valuable update for organisations working with adolescent girls across Kenya, and inspiration for similar research in East and Southern African countries.

The association between disability and risk of exposure to peer cyber victimisation is moderated by gender: cross-sectional survey

AUTHOR(S)
Eric Emerson; Zoe Aitken; Tania King (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Disability and Health Journal

Little is known about the exposure of youth with disability to cyber victimisation. This study aims to estimate the prevalence of peer cyber and non-cyber victimisation in a nationally representative sample of 14-year-old adolescents with and without disability and to determine whether gender moderates the relationship between disability and exposure to victimisation. Secondary analysis of data collected in Wave 6 of the UK's Millennium Cohort Survey on 11,726 14-year-old adolescents living in the UK.

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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.