The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Female Academics with Young Children in South Africa
Against the backdrop of an increase in research on the effects of COVID-19, this article uses the analysis of survey data of female academics from the 26 higher education institutions in South Africa to identify how female academics with young children coped with academic output during the pandemic-enforced lockdown. A growing body of research documents the influence of children and childcare on the careers of female academics. In this article, we see how female academics who stayed at home during the enforced lockdown period negotiated childcare and home-schooling, and how the lockdown influenced their academic output. An online survey questionnaire was administered, consisting of 12 Likert-scale questions followed by an open-ended section that solicited a narrative account of academic work and home life during the lockdown period. Data on female academics with children under the age of six years was extracted for this study. The quantitative and qualitative data that emerged from our study of 2,018 women academics at 26 universities across South Africa describes how academic mothers felt, and how they struggled to complete the academic work required by their educational institutions. Such academic work directly influences future career prospects. This study highlights the influence that the presence of young children in the home, the pressures of home-schooling, traditional gender roles, and household responsibilities have on the academic careers of women.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the South
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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