Making the most of now: Young women's experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic
Oral history interviews about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic were conducted with a small group of diverse young women in Ōtautahi/Christchurch, New Zealand during late 2020 and early 2021. These young women, (aged 18 to 30 years), had also experienced the aftermath of Canterbury earthquakes (2010-2011). More recently, they were in the city at the time of the deadly attack on two Christchurch mosques in March 2019. Young women share their stories about periods of lockdown and the effects on their lives of the ongoing pandemic. The archive aso includes information about how the research was done and associated resources.
High school and tertiary students, health workers, retail workers, lawyers, hairdressers, community workers and mothers talk about the effects on their wellbeing of periods of lockdown, insecurities about employment, the challenges of online learning, the responsibility to teach their children, and restrictions on interactions with family members and friends. Anxiety, depression, boredom, loss of purpose and direction, and the experience of isolation are often discussed. However, there are also stories about what women did to generate their own and others’ well-being in stressful, uncertain and challenging situations. They also reflect on how communities could better support other young women in these circumstances.
The research was conducted by Dr Louise Tapper (Project Leader) and Adjunct Associate Professor Rosemary Du Plessis with the support of The Collaborative Trust and the Christchurch Branch of the National Council of Women of New Zealand. An advisory group drawn from these organisations provided crucial advice at different stages of the project. A group of young women participants also advised on the development of this project. The researchers appreciate the opportunity to make this archive of interviews and research material available through the UC QuakeStudies digital archive.