According to the recently released Editorial in Lancet, although COVID-19 does not discriminate, if we do not carefully consider our response to the pandemic we might do. In light of this potential hazard, research efforts increasingly use a gender lens in order to map, explain and tackle the gender differentiated transmission mechanisms and implications of COVID-19 (World Bank, 2020).
Along such efforts, special emphasis should be given to aspects pertaining to gender equity in parenting and specifically to father engagement in their children’s education, care and upbringing. To date, literature highlights key obstacles and enablers of COVID-19 to gender equity in parenting and increased father engagement. Specifically, long held obstacles seem to be still in place, as the coronavirus pandemic has given new urgency to many of the challenges women have faced for a long time, and the care burden on women is higher due to the pay gap and social norms.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the mitigation measures taken to tackle it have changed enormously our lives in many ways. For example, during the pandemic, fathers have spent more time at home, and this has been an opportunity for them to engage more in their children’s education, care and upbringing. Workplace realities have also changed for fathers and mothers alike, with home-based work prevailing. The pandemic and its consequences may contribute, among others, to a redistribution of care and domestic work but what this crisis confirms is that it is necessary to continue working on analyzing the factors which perpetuate gender roles (Belloso, 2020).
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