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COVID-19 and the care crisis

Date(s) and time of event
Date(s) and time of event
Date(s) and time of event
Three year old Joy Wanja sits beside her mother, Juliet Nyambura, at the Bestan Childcare Center in Korogocho, Nairobi, Kenya.
IDRC / Tommy Trenchard

IDRC is hosting a panel discussion on March 8, 2021 to mark International Women’s Day. This conversation among experts will focus on the actions that are needed to respond to the care crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite being key to human well-being and to the functioning of the economy, care work remains unrecognized, undervalued, and predominantly performed by women and girls the world over. The pandemic has accelerated the demand for care work and exacerbated entrenched gender inequalities. An important part of this work is the care of children. The pandemic is exposing and amplifying the childcare crisis globally and particularly in low- and middle-income countries.  

In this event, leading experts, practitioners, and policy actors will reflect on emerging evidence and solutions. The event will feature the release of a report reviewing the evidence of the global childcare crisis and reaffirm Canada’s commitment and leadership to build back a better and more gender-inclusive world in which paid and unpaid care work are equally distributed.

The panelists are:

  • Kate Grantham, founder and principal consultant at FemDev Consulting, president of the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development, and lead author of “Evidence review of the global childcare crisis and the road for post-COVID-19 recovery and resilience”
  • Sabrina Habib, co-founder and chief exploration officer at Kidogo Innovations, a social enterprise that provides childcare in Kenya
  • Caroline Kabiru, director of the Population Dynamics and Reproductive Health Unit at the African Population and Health Research Center, and research team member in a project on subsidized childcare in Kenya
  • Rudaba Zehra Nasir, Global Lead for Employment and Childcare, IFC Gender and Economic Inclusion Group.
  • Cheryl Urban, Director General, Economic Development, Global Issues and Development Branch, Global Affairs Canada

This event will also mark the official launch of the  Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women –East Africa research portfolio, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and IDRC.

English and French simultaneous interpretation will be available. The event will be recorded and available on IDRC’s YouTube channel.

Please join us for this lively discussion. 

Please send your questions in advance to


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