by Mjiba Frehiwot, Deborah Atobrah and Irene Appeaning-Addo
This article interrogates the lived experiences of women academics at the University of Ghana (UG) between March 2020 and March 2021. It highlights their emotions and care decisions as they navigated through the multiple spheres of their lives – physical, emotional, and financial – while meeting the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. It further interrogates the innovative ways female academics handled the state and UG’s responses to COVID-19 protocols while endeavouring to meet their career responsibilities amidst an increased familial, institutional, and community care burden. We find that women academics at UG reported to have worked under intense stress and strain to meet their family care obligations and the demands of their jobs as three levels of mothering – biological, othermothering and community mothering – dominated participants’ narratives of their pandemic experiences. It is also observed that self-reported productivity levels, including research and writing, dropped drastically for most women academics as demands for care increased, and this lack of productivity resulted in anxiety.
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