During class this week, my teacher scrolled through a basecamp post called “A Woman’s Place today.” At the bottom of the post there was some info that really caught my eye and that I wanted to learn more about.
“Recent labour market statistics in the United States for the month of September show that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone—however, of the 1.1 million people who left the job market in September, more than 860,000 were women.”
Below that text, there was a link to a NPR podcast called “How More Women Than Men Are Being Impacted By The Recession” where they evaluated the situation/evidence and provided a possible explanation to why women are being so greatly effected, more than men. This post is going to break down the podcast and share my thoughts on it.
They tell a woman, Cassie Gaffer’s story. She shares that she finally finished her dental schooling, which is a gruelling and intense few years. She started working, and loved it. When COVID arrived in March, the practice closed as a part of the mandated shut down. Not only did her work close, her daughters daycare and school did too. She became a stay at home mom for the time. When the lockdown loosened up and essential services like dentistry opened up, she was offered her job back and she had to say no. Her husband went back to work, and she stayed home as that’s what made most sense for her family. There needed to be a parent at home as daycare and in class school wasn’t an option anymore.
According to Martha Gimble, a economist at Schmitt Futures who studies the labour market, “this is the case for millions of women around America right now.” The problem is right now, women are given very little choice’s compared to before the pandemic. The pandemic took away the choices women had, leaving them with no freedom to decide what they want. They can’t send there kids to school, someone has to supervise the learning, do the cooking, the cleaning, and those roles are falling on women. But why?
CULTURAL PRESIDENT: While things have changed immensely for women, in heterosexual relationships, these roles (childcare and housework) still tend to fall more on the woman in the relationship.
ECONOMICAL DECISIONS: Because women generally get paid less then men, if the couple is making an economic decision, it makes more sense for the women to drop there work compared to the man.
In result of these things, women in the workforce numbers have been the lowest its been decades. Studies show that women who take time from the workforce have a harder time getting back in. They are losing experiences that help them move forward like promotions, building skills that will help future employers pay you more.
In class we’ve been discussing past decades from the 40s to now, and the topic of women in the workplace were mentioned in almost all of them. What surprised me most about this podcast, is that this unfair president thats set on women, is still there. It just surprises me when I study something how much woman lives have changed over the years, yet I still see unfair stats like this. COVID has brought up issues that we all thought were fixed. The pandemic is having a devastating effect on gender equality and could set women back decades, which is why it’s a very important topic to discuss. Read this article here if you want to learn more about this topic.