WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the first day of Women’s History Month, government watchdog Accountable.US called on the Biden administration to make sure support for the thousands of women struggling during the pandemic is a central priority.
Women have faced unique hardships during the COVID-19 crisis — widespread job loss, added childcare burdens, and unique COVID risks — with women of color bearing the brunt of the burden. And while Biden’s widely popular proposed American Rescue Plan includes essential support measures for women and their families like stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, and a $15 minimum wage, obstructionists in Congress and special interests are opposing this crucial aid — even after they happily supported expensive Trump-era bailouts and tax cuts for the rich and powerful.
“The pandemic has been devastating for everyone, but especially for women — and women of color in particular — the long-term economic hardships cannot be understated,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Obstructionists in Congress are all too happy to oppose Biden’s stimulus plan, which would help women and families get the targeted support they need including direct checks, unemployment aid, and more — even after spending four years under Trump giving handouts to the wealthy and powerful. Until the pandemic is under control, Biden must ensure that those who need support most are first in line for aid.”
- DOUBLE-EDGED CHILDCARE SWORD: Women make up the majority of the childcare workforce, which has been decimated by the pandemic. Jointly, with remote work at an all-time high, many women are taking on the added unpaid responsibility of managing childcare for their own families — putting further stress on those who are trying to fulfill their job responsibilities from home.
- NO SMALL BUSINESS AID: President Trump’s mismanagement of pandemic relief funds left women-owned small businesses behind. Experts estimate up to 90% of minority and woman-owned businesses were shut out of the Paycheck Protection Program. And an Accountable.US analysis found that less than 0.5% of PPP funds went to Black woman-owned businesses in the first few rounds of the program.
- HISTORIC JOB LOSSES: Women have faced devastating job losses since last March. New reporting today shows that over 2.3 million women have left the workforce since February of last year, “bringing their labor participation rate to levels not seen since 1988.
- WOMEN OF COLOR HIT HARDEST: A report in December 2020 showed that all of the month’s 140,000 lost jobs were held by women — with Black and Latina women ending up jobless even while white women managed to make overall gains.