America was experiencing a family homelessness crisis long before the COVID-19 pandemic. Unless immediate action is taken to prevent a tidal wave of women and children from losing their homes in the year ahead, even more families will fall into the vicious cycle of homelessness.
Ms. spoke to CEO of Time’s Up Tina Tchen about why investing in care infrastructure, which would create millions of jobs for the disproportionate number of women hit by the pandemic, is just as important as building roads and bridges; why the work women do has historically been undervalued; and the increased sexual harassment and violence against Asian American women.
Over the last year, our country has lost almost 550,000 people to COVID-19. America lost countless citizens to racism and experienced one of the largest spikes in hate crimes.
We changed the way we loved, shopped, worked and lived. But the expectations for mothers did not change.
The American Jobs Plan devotes billions of dollars towards transportation, clean energy and innovation. But—as is too often the case—the “controversial” funding is the provision that will help women recover from the disproportionate harm they faced during the pandemic.
We need our elected officials to reduce public funding for private residential care contractors and invest in foster care services that are accountable to their communities, as well as preventive measures to address abuse and keep kids out of the system in the first place.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, women have lost three decades of hard-fought gains in a single year. But injustices and inequities that existed long before COVID-19 have been exposed—and conversations around how we can support women are finally started. This is a moment like none before, and we need permanent, structural change to reach full equity.
As President Biden prepares to introduce a new plan aimed at jumpstarting economic rebirth, he must build on a key lesson from the past year: There is no equitable jobs plan that does not include child care.
The far-seeing women who pushed for and won the first federal commission on women 60 years ago had a bold and comprehensive plan to move America toward greater equality and well being. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan—aided by the new Gender Policy Council—should follow their lead.
We should take this opportunity to not just help early childhood care and education programs get through this current crisis—though that is critical—but to rethink our whole system and build one that works better for everyone.
We cannot achieve gender equality or economic recovery until our child care system is rebuilt from the ground up.
Decades of underinvestment has exposed the fragility of the market-based child care industry—and the pandemic may have dealt the final blow. To solve our country’s child care crisis, we need an expansive approach that fundamentally shifts the narrative about child care from a privilege for few to a public good for all.