Exposing the unpaid care work that most women perform – Covid Diaries: Women’s Experience of the Pandemic
More about the book!
Covid Diaries: Women’s Experience of the Pandemic by Amanda Gouws and Olivia Ezeobi – a collection of essays that captures women’s lived experiences of a historical epoch.
While under lockdown, women’s work expanded exponentially, especially care work at home, including emotional care work.
What the pandemic exposed is the unpaid care work that most women perform. Midway through the stages of lockdown researchers started to do surveys to find out what is happening to women, expressing the results of the research in statistical terms. Yet, this research does not get to the heart of the matter: women’s lived experience of a historical epoch – of a virus spreading at breakneck speed across geographical boundaries, condemning the whole world to viral infections, state sanctioned lockdowns and death.
This has never happened before, so no-one was prepared for what was to come and how to handle the crisis. This collection of essays captures the existential feelings of anxiety, angst and uncertainty. They also express exhaustion, discovering new dimensions of life and rethinking priorities in the face of a rupture of what has gone before. What we hear in these essays are the voices of women speaking to this pandemic and what lockdown has meant to them and for them. Some essays are written with raw emotion, others in beautiful poetic prose, some in poetry.
Through the essays runs a golden thread of coming to terms with a new way of life and what it means to be a woman, a mother, a partner, a friend and a Covid-19 victim in the year that will be known as the year of the pandemic. The writers are from all walks and stages of life and the book represents stories from a range of different countries. This collection of essays will help readers to make sense of the impact of Covid-19 on everyday reality.
About the editors
Amanda Gouws is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science and holds a SARChI Research Chair in Gender Politics at Stellenbosch University. She has published widely on women’s citizenship, women’s representation in government and gender based violence. She is the editor of (Un)Thinking Citizenship: Feminist Debates in Contemporary South Africa (Ashgate/Juta, 2005) and co-editor of Gender and Multi-Culturalism: North/South Perspectives (Routledge, 2014), as well as co-editor for Nasty Women Talk Back (Imbali Academic Publishers, 2018). She was a Commissioner for the Commission for Gender Equality (2012- 2014) and is a feminist activist and writer.
Olivia Ezeobi is a founding member of a North-South Gender Research Network of scholars from South Africa and Scotland. She is a lecturer and PhD candidate in the Department of Economics at Stellenbosch University. Her research interest is in the intersectionality of gender, race and class, and she is passionate about bringing the voices of more women of colour to feminist literature. Her motherhood journey awakened in her a keen interest in economic research related to working mothers. She lives in Stellenbosch with her husband and son.