Gendering the pandemic: the effect of the Covid-19 lockdown on female students’ household labor allocation in Morocco
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As the Covid-19 spread across the world, it has affected the lives of people from all walks of life. While confined to home after the imposed lockdowns and closure of educational institutions, girls were called upon to perform family chores and assume caregiving roles. This may result in limited time and energy to continue their learning at a distance. Using survey data collected in April and May 2020 from a sample of Moroccan female first year university students, the present paper analyzes the effect of household labor allocation during home confinement on female students’ remote learning. Findings demonstrate how the immediate effects of covid-19 pandemic showed themselves in education with girls being left behind, and display how the crisis has widened gender inequalities and created new challenges in a society where gender-based discrimination and traditional social norms already exist. Understanding the gender-differentiated impacts of the Covid-19 crisis is necessary to design policy responses that reduce pre-existing social and educational vulnerabilities and ensure that the gender parity progress achieved in recent decades is not reversed.
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