Volume XXIII
Issue
I
Date
2021

COVID-19 and the Gendered Division of Cognitive and Emotional Labor in the Home

by Isabella Oishi

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated existing gender inequality, particularly in the home. Schools and daycares have been forced to close their doors, leaving a huge gap in childcare that parents have had to fill. Women have disproportionately shouldered this burden, spending an average of fifteen more hours a week on domestic labor tasks than men. While this type of unpaid labor is recognizable and readily quantifiable, women also take on a disproportionate amount of emotional and cognitive labor, which is often overlooked by economists, yet necessary to keep a household running. The burden of increased emotional and cognitive labor caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has significant psychological implications for mothers and children and is detrimental to the Nation’s economic prospects and efforts to close the gender wage gap …

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