Women on the Front Lines

Marie Claire: COVID-19 Exposes the Dangers of Gender Inequality

Equity, Impact Lab, Private Sector, Public Policy, Women on the Front Lines

Women now represent a majority of the U.S. workforce —but in addition to their paid employment, they still take on the majority of unpaid household labor and care work. From breadwinner to bread maker, client care to child care, women spend 102 more hours a year than men on unpaid chores and family care. This deeply-ingrained gender imbalance is known as the “second shift.”

Now, as COVID-19 forces schools to close, businesses to shutter, and hospitals to ration care, many women have to do even more with even less, creating a veritable “third shift” that endangers everyone’s health and well-being. It doesn’t have to be this way. Congress can step up and pass legislation that immediately—and permanently—provides all working people with paid sick days and paid family leave to care for sick loved ones. Read the full op-ed by Tina Tchen, who argues that stronger paid leave policies could have prepared the U.S. to better respond the coronavirus outbreak.