COVID-19 and the Care Economy in the Global South

Webinar Video

  • Title: COVID-19 and the Care Economy in the Global South
  • Date: Thursday, June 11, 2020
  • Time: 10:00-11:30 AM (EDT)
  • Duration: 1.5 Hours

Webinar summaries - COVID-19 and the Care Economy in the Global South (PDF Version)


COVID-19 has become an unprecedented global crisis. The pandemic has exposed deep structural inequalities around the world, with disproportionate effects on women and girls. This webinar will discuss current issues around COVID-19 and the care economy for women in the Global South. A diverse panel of experts from the worlds of international development research and practice will discuss research priorities and possible policy solutions for women and the care economy.

This is the second event in a series of research-to-practice Webinar on the gender dimensions of COVID19 organized by the Women’s Empowerment in Development (WED) Lab at McGill in partnership with the Institute for the Study of International Development and made possible thanks to funding from the Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW 2) program, a multi-funder initiative by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Canada’s International Development Research Centre.


By early June 2020, health actors had confirmed more than 6.5 million cases of COVID-19, including more than 380,000 deaths in 213 countries around the world. While these figures are high, they do not adequately depict the gravity of the pandemic. As a result of restricting movement, halting travel, closing business, and disrupting global supply chains, COVID-19 has affected every aspect of human life.

As with other pandemics in recent history, women are particularly vulnerable. COVID-19 has further aggravated structural inequalities that systematically disadvantage women, specifically in the care economy (both paid and unpaid). COVID-19 has further exposed the disproportionate care responsibilities shouldered by women. Before COVID-19 became a universal pandemic, women spent 4.1 hours/day on unpaid care and domestic work. However, this has increased significantly with children out-of-school, heightened care needs of older persons and overwhelmed health services. Given the current challenges, it is important to focus attention on the gender dimensions of COVID-19 on the care economy in the Global South.


  • Dr. Patricia Kitsao-Wekulo (APHRC)
  • Jessica Hum - Antonopoulos (OXFAM)
  • Sabrina Habib
  • Margaret Kakande (Ministry of Finance, Uganda)