Please read Gendered Pandemic in Japan: Childcare, Parents’ Employment, and Housework during Covid-19 through Survey in Yokohama by Naoko Soma: Gendered Pandemic in Japan-Childcare, Parents’ Employment and Housework during Covid-19 through Survey in Yokohama

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has had gendered impacts on employment, housework, and responsibility for childcare for families. This article uses 2020 survey data of parents using childcare facilities in Yokohama, Japan to understand the relationship between childcare and COVID-19, as well as the crisis responses made by families and society during the “voluntary restraint period” when parents were encouraged to stop using daycare facilities. Findings indicate that women experienced burdens related to work, childcare, and housework during this time. Additionally, extra strains were placed upon socioeconomically vulnerable households, as evidenced through high withdrawal rates from small-scale daycare facilities that supported this population. It is necessary that new daycare policy and action is informed by these findings to understand the integral role of childcare in society and to better respond flexibly to families’ needs and the needs of those from different sectors of society during crisis and disaster times.

Naoko Soma: Naoko Soma is a visiting professor at University of Toronto, Centre for Global Social Policy, Department of Sociology, and a professor at International Graduate School of Social Sciences, Yokohama National University, Japan. After doctoral course of Advanced Social and International Studies at the University of Tokyo in 2005, she was a research fellow (PD) of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science from 2005 to 2007. She has worked at Yokohama National University since 2007. Her research interests are comparative care and family policy in East Asia, multi-responsibilities of social care, and statistics of social care and caring democracy. She has published papers and books in Japanese and English on childcare, double-care (multi-responsibilities of care) and family policy in Japan and South Korea.