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News coverage of childcare during COVID-19: Where are women and gender?

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Goodyear-Grant, Elizabeth and Wallace, Rebecca
Publication Date: 
13 Aug 2020

Excerpted from abstract: 

Research has long observed the absence of gender in childcare policy, media, and elections. However the current global pandemic has invoked critical questions about chilcare and its importance to states' economic recovery around the world. In this note, we analyze news coverage of childcare in Canadian major dailies to explore if and how news narratives regarding childcare in shifting in light of COVID-19. In particular, are we seeing a focus on women and gender in childcare coverage amidst the compounding pressures that women are facing in the curren social and economic climate? Results of our analysis suggest that the pandemic has not shifted the conversations on childcare, and that current coverage principally reflects long-standing trends in childcare framing. We find that gender remains systematically written out of coverage on childcare, occluded by a larger focus on health-, economcic-, and accessibility-related concerns about childcare services.