How the Pandemic Has Affected Housing and the Fabric of Home

By Rotary Service and Engagement Staff

During the pandemic, it is no secret that parents have faced a uniquely difficult situation – running households, coordinating at-home childcare while working or leaving the workforce, becoming teachers, and the like. Further complicating a difficult situation, most of these roles have moved to the home and are frequently undertaken by women and mothers. These particular challenges were discussed in a recent Habitat for Humanity +You event, a panel discussion hosted by Habitat for Humanity that is part of year-long thought leadership series about the impact and intersections of housing on society.

Held during International Women Build week in March and hosted by Adrienne Goolsby, senior vice president, US and Canada, at Habitat for Humanity International, the conversation featured individuals who brought their personal and professional experiences to the table. Alexis, a certified nurse and Habitat homeowner, Preeti Das, additional director at Kamavati University in Gujarat, India, Jenna Elfman, actress and Habitat supporter, and Katherine O’Regan, professor of public policy and planning at New York University, participated in the call.  

Each panelist talked about how the pandemic affected their lives, and their families lives. Jenna became a teacher overnight. Preeti found herself constantly multitasking. And Alexis discovered that she preferred working from home. Katherine described how these experiences are represented in research and polling, which drives key policy decisions during the pandemic. For example, an increase in unemployment applications by women influenced the timing and amount of stimulus checks issued in the United States.

The full conversation is available on YouTube and is particularly relevant at this time of year. April is maternal and child health month in Rotary. You can watch this discussion and learn about how the pandemic has affected mothers and demanded more from women than ever before. As these conversations bring awareness to inequalities, there is hope that new economic and housing policies can be made to support women. We hope that Habitat’s +You thought leadership series inspires you to take action in support of women and maternal and child health, such as organizing projects through Rotary district and global grants. Join Habitat and Rotary in learning more about issues affecting women and mothers as well as how to make a difference in your community and beyond.

Rotary International’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity International helps clubs and districts empower local communities through access to safe and affordable housing, water and sanitation facilities and hygienic practices and skills training to improve employment opportunities. Contact your local Habitat to jointly design and implement local service projects.

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