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.
Financial education won’t undo systemic inequity and exclusion. Until we forge the products, practices and policies that advance an equitable economy, we can’t ask the individual to overcome the structural.
April is Financial Literacy Month. Here’s hoping it’s the last.
“This past year has been devastating for domestic workers across the country,” writes Lily Tomlin, Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actor and comedian. “This month, domestic workers are demanding an end to the exclusion from health and safety laws through the Health and Safety for All Workers Act, introduced by California state Sen. Maria Elena Durazo. The governor vetoed the bill last year, but this year, he has an opportunity to do right by our most essential workers.”
Research already showed how the pandemic exacerbated sexual harassment experienced by service workers. New research shows tipped workers who earn below the minimum wage are even more likely to experience harassment.
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.
As has been well-documented during this pandemic, women and men interact with the economy differently. Because of occupational segregation and caregiving obligations, women have been forced out of the workforce at a higher rate than men. For new full-employment policies to serve women, they must proactively address these and other obstacles.
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.