Since the beginning of the COVID-19 health and economic crisis, millions of women have been forced out of the workforce across the entire nation. Women in Oregon have felt the crunch too, leaving the workforce at significantly higher rates than Oregon men. Black, Latina and Pacific Islander women have been hardest hit by job losses, compounding the already disparate health impacts their communities have faced from the virus itself.
The research is clear: caregiving has always and continues to fall disproportionately on the shoulders of women, which means that a lack of affordable, accessible child care and robust paid leave programs forces women out of their jobs at a higher rate than it does men. This is an urgent jobs crisis that deserves a full-court press for solutions by policymakers in Washington, D.C. If we invest in a recovery that does not address the underlying issues women face, we risk making the inequities they face even worse.