Navigating the COVID-19 crisis: exploring care arrangements and gendered inequalities for migrant women in transnational families in Berlin

The COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated a notable shift in care responsibilities, transferring them from institutions to families, with a pronounced impact on migrant women in transnational families who navigate both local and transnational care arrangements. This study explored how the pandemic affected women's care arrangements and exacerbated existing inequalities at the intersection of labour, migration, and welfare regimes. Following a qualitative methodology based on grounded theory and ethnography, this study analysed interviews with migrant women, their family members, and experts to understand their experiences with caregiving and transnational family dynamics during the pandemic, the costs and coping strategies related to gendered aspects of care, and the changing landscape of migration and care policies during the pandemic. This study scrutinised the intricate web of local and transnational caregiving structures, emphasising women's agency in negotiating care needs amid pandemic restrictions and constraints on access to formal social protection.