General Article The importance of good childcare services for gender equality

Topic Selected: Gender Equality Book Volume: 432

Professor Ingela Naumann at Fribourg University discusses the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on childcare arrangements and family wellbeing, and how it highlighted gendered care norms.

Ingela Naumann, Fribourg University

The COVID-pandemic put a spotlight on a central conundrum of modern society: you cannot do your job while simultaneously looking after your child. Whatever you do, in the long run one or the other will suffer: You can park your child in front of the TV so you can do that online meeting (bad educational value!), or you pretend to be present in that meeting while, actually, you are stacking blocks with your child (and you might miss that important part in the meeting for your input!). Yet, during COVID-lockdowns when childcare services and schools were closed and employment moved online for many, scores of parents tried to do exactly that: juggle employment and childcare in their homes, all at once. How did they fare?

How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the childca...

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