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Due to the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, women are leaving their jobs or scaling back work responsibilities at alarming rates. And in part, it’s because of the still-ingrained expectation that women are responsible for child care.

From Chabeli Carrrazana, writing for The 19th:

For the first time since they began a consistent upward climb in the labor force in the 1970s, women are now suffering the repercussions of a system that still treats them unequally. Men are still the primary breadwinners. Women are still the primary low-income workers, the ones whose jobs disappeared when coronavirus spread. Mothers in 2020’s pandemic have reduced their work hours four to five times more than fathers to care for children in a nation that hasn’t created a strong caregiving foundation.

When the economy crumbled, women fell — hard.

Now, analysts and activists are worried that the exodus of American women from the workforce could set gender equity in the workplace back and undo decades of progress.

What safeguards can be put in place to make sure this exodus doesn’t affect women in the long run? And what can women who are being forced to take on more at home and balance it with work — do?


Nicole Mason 

president and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research

Kali Cyrus

practicing community psychiatrist, Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins Medicine