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Washington, D.C. February 4, 2021 – The Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress released a blueprint for a gender-equitable recovery from the current economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. The issue brief looks at how women—and in particular women of color—have fared in the labor market over the past year, some of the current key drivers of gender inequities, and what policymakers must do to help women secure a foothold in the economy over both the short and long term.

The piece follows a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly jobs report showing that women accounted for nearly all job losses in December 2020, as well as the release of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which would provide additional relief to families and businesses being crushed by the pandemic and recession. Beyond identifying relief priorities for women in the near term, the brief strengthens the case for making structural changes in our economy to advance gender equity, including:

  • Establishing a robust care infrastructure
  • Ensuring fair and equal wages and quality benefits
  • Creating strong workplace protections

“Women haven’t fared worse during this pandemic by chance, but rather because of policymakers’ failures to prioritize women and their families,” said Shilpa Phadke, vice president of the Women’s Initiative at CAP and co-author of the issue brief. “Women have been driven out the labor force in droves due to an increase caregiving demands, a lack of workplace protections, and job losses in industries dominated by women. To achieve a bold and lasting recovery that works for all Americans, our policy response must account for inequities that have imperiled women’s financial security and employment.”

Read the issue brief: “When Women Lose All the Jobs: Essential Actions for a Gender-Equitable Recovery” by Diana Boesch and Shilpa Phadke