International Labour Organization, ILO
Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing, WIEGO

Webinar Presentation: Impacts of COVID-19 on care politics

Slide presentation of the webinar held on 19 May 2020

The current Covid-19 crisis is having and will continue to have clear impacts on care work, in both the private and the public domain. It can be expected that most of the increase in domestic care work will be shouldered by women as they do on average three times as much unpaid care and domestic work at home as men (UN Women, 2020). Yet, the effects may vary on the pre-existing gender division of labour and gender attitudes. In some instances, having both parents together at home could provide an opportunity for reflection and transformative change of practices. In other cases, in families/communities with less progressive gender norms, women and girls will be excessively overburdened, with negative spillovers on IPV, mental illness etc. 

Against this background, a number of questions arise:

  • What are the impacts of the current Covid-19 on the care system and care workers?
  • How can and are social protection systems responding to the impacts of the pandemic on care work, in both the private and the public sphere?
  • What do experiences from other health crises, such as Zika in Latin America, tell us about care work, gender and social protection?
  • To which extent can the crisis and policy responses be gender-transformative? Can they change for example traditional divisions of labour or how we value care work?