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Care, Order and Child Wellbeing during COVID from a Global Perspective

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Part of the School for Policy Studies' International Seminar Series on the Care and Wellbeing Across Generations in the Context of Covid-19.

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Since January 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in 148,999,876 confirmed cases as well as 3,140,115 deaths (WHO) and the subsequent government restrictions that resulted from the rapid spread of the virus, have had an enormous impact on all aspects of life for communities around the world. In particular, the pandemic has laid bare the vulnerabilities and risks particular groups of people face as they try to navigate their daily lives amidst all the health, social, economic, relational ramifications resulting from the virus. As a result, focusing on the notion of care, the School for Policy Studies' 2021 International Seminar Series will present a range of perspectives relating to care and wellbeing of groups that have been most arguably adversely affected by the pandemic: the elderly and children.

Chair: Dr. Heather Ottaway, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol.

Speaker: Dr Elena Moore, Department of Sociology, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Focusing on South Africa, Dr Moore will explore the government’s wilful neglect of care and caring especially in relation to the caring needs of young children and their caregivers. The presentation will outline how the failure occurred at three intersecting and connected levels: 1) failure to issue subsidies and cater for care centres which resulted in thousands of job losses as well as the closure of numerous early childhood development centres and the suspension of food programmes; 2) failure to treat primary caregivers as citizens in the design of the state’s economic relief package which excluded those who already received a grant on behalf of their child; 3) failure to be attentive to the needs of care and caregivers and the wider early childcare sector which resulted in low-income Black women carrying the responsibility and cost of care.

Speaker: Dr Sylvester Kyei-Gyamfi, Chief Programmes Officer, Ministry of Gender, Social Protection and Children, Government of Ghana

Drawing on data collected as part of a mixed method pilot study focusing on the three-week lock down imposed by the government in Ghana in April 2020, this presentation will explore children’s knowledge, attitudes and practices in Accra and Tema, two of the hotspots of COVID-19 infected areas in Ghana. In particular, the paper will share children’s reflections and experiences on what they considered to be positive and negative effects of the lockdown, which included more quality time with their families and the lack of learning opportunities due to the closure of schools.

This is an online event, joining details will be shared in due course.

For information on the first seminar in the series: Ageing, older people and care in the context of Covid-19

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