Behind Closed Doors: The COVID-19 Impact on Gender Inequalities at Home

Short film by Hailey Powell

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated a variety of socio-economic hardships, particularly for women. Specifically within the home, women have assumed the increased responsibility of childcare, chores, and other obligations resulting in a sacrifice of overall wellbeing for themselves, their jobs, and their independent income. Gender roles in society however, is not a new concept. It is a reality that has existed since the beginning of humanity. What makes the idea of gender roles and inequality unique in relation to the pandemic, is that it’s had a devastating effect on the progress we as a society have already made towards gender equality. My goal for “Behind Closed Doors” was to answer the question, “How has COVID-19 and the lockdown exacerbated gender inequality” (more specifically within the household). The United Nations policy brief, my primary research tool for this project, noted four main ways in which the pandemic drastically affected women and girls. Economic Impact, Health Impact, Unpaid Care Work, and Gender-Based Violence are all featured throughout the short film with brief quotes that explain the visuals behind them. The purpose of using a short film along with the research I uncovered from the United Nation’s policy brief is to depict the disproportionately negative effects women experience as a result of their assumed responsibilities based on gender roles. I hope that exposure to my film will encourage others to acknowledge gender roles on a daily basis, but also how behind closed doors, this unfair burden may have devastating effects on the
wellbeing of women.

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