By Alisha Haridasani Gupta

From the get go, this economic crisis has been markedly different from previous ones: It wasn’t caused by geopolitical or financial forces, and it disproportionately affected women.

A bulk of the jobs that vanished at the start of the coronavirus pandemic were held by women — particularly women of color — who worked in service industries like hospitality, travel, retail and entertainment.

The downward trend held through the year, with more than 800,000 women dropping out of the work force completely in September (no longer looking for work), and at the end of 2020, when there was a resurgence of the virus, 156,000 jobs were lost in December by women, predominantly women of color. According to the National Women’s Law Center, “there were nearly 2.1 million fewer women in the labor force in December than there were in February, before the pandemic started.”

So the question — for many — is, would Mr. Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, as it is known, help women get back to work, in addition to containing the spread of the virus?

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