The Covid-19 pandemic had a particularly severe impact on people in a vulnerable position, such as solo mothers living alone with their children. In this article I use an intersectional approach in order to understand how their different positions in life affected their ability to cope with the crisis situation. I present a longitudinal qualitative study of the situation of solo mothers in the Czech Republic during the Covid-19 crisis, based on repeated interviews with women from three Czech regions. The preliminary findings indicate that a crucial factor in the women's ability to cope with increased care responsibilities was the kind of job they had before the pandemic hit. Women with higher qualifications and stable jobs faced a decline in income coupled with stress resulting from a conflation of paid work and care. In response, they reduced their professional ambitions. Women who were unemployed or lost their job during the pandemic faced long-term unemployment, and the jobs that they were offered on the labour market were forms of precarious employment. For all of them, irrespective of their work situation, the pandemic deepened their sense of vulnerability, and all of them experienced some form of economic hardship. The lack of any systemic support and the ignoring of the needs of (solo) parents (and children) were accompanied by the individual responsibilisation of the mothers. As a consequence, old inequalities deepened and new ones emerged.
Peer-reviewed journal article
Dudová, Radka. 2021. „Péče jako individuální odpovědnost a prohloubení ekonomického znevýhodnění sólo matek v pandemii covid-19.“ Gender a výzkum 22 (2): 110-137. Available from: https://www.genderonline.cz/pdfs/gav/2021/02/08.pdf.