By Michelle Miller and Vidya Singh

“I think it has to do with a lot of antiquated…gender norms and rules and expectations that we have around who should be … the primary breadwinner,” said C. Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

She said COVID-19 has hit women particularly hard because women work predominantly in the service, education and health services sectors, which were the most impacted by the pandemic.

“When you couple that with the pay gap and the, you know, lack of savings, an economic shock, like the pandemic really hurts and cripples working women, especially lower-wage women,” she said.

Mason said shutdowns across the country put mothers still in the workforce at a disadvantage.

“There’s no school, there’s no daycare and women are expected to…work 40 hours a week and still be the primary caregiver. And it’s just an impossible situation for most women, especially women who don’t have the option of working remotely or home,” she explained.

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