Racialized and Immigrant Women at the Pandemic Frontlines: A Study of COVID‑19 Pandemic Impacts on the Lives of Essential Workers in Ontario
Due to the sudden emergence of the COVID‑19 pandemic, there is limited research on its effects on gender, race and work, and yet current anecdotal evidence suggests more needs to be done in this area for policy and planning. Meanwhile, for many years now, there have been calls from various stakeholders to address issues related to gender and broader structural challenges affecting vulnerable workers in Canadian society (e.g., racialized women, issues related to pay equity; childcare services). Thus, in exploring the impacts and responses to COVID‑19 in relation to racialized and immigrant women, this project is urgent and timely, and will produce original and significant work (both for scholarship and practice) by filling key gaps. Specifically, it will examine how social and economic realities, as well as mental health of racialized and immigrant women have been impacted by the pandemic. Second, the study will examine coping strategies adopted by racialized and immigrant women to manage the impacts of the pandemic on the mental health as well as social and economic well-being. Third, we also examine how strategies and programs implemented in response to COVID‑19 by government institutions and employers were useful racialized and immigrant essential workers in the context of their mental health, social and economic realities. In so doing, this research will address an immediate problem, but also provide empirical evidence to begin to address longer-term structural issues. The study employs an embodied inquiry in the form of storytelling to understand how this group of women are navigating the pandemic at the site of work.