Women and America’s minority populations have suffered a disproportionate amount as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is the time to make it right and help them get back on track.
Institute for Women’s Policy Research President and CEO C. Nicole Mason explained how the U.S. can move on from the pandemic through legislation and other actions that need to come from the pandemic.
Moving forward after the COVID-19 pandemic
While the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over, Mason indicated a few ways the federal government can help those most affected by the pandemic land back on their feet.
She compared the COVID-19 economic downturn to the 2008 recession. The only difference is that this downturn affects women more than men, the opposite of the 2008 recession. She attributed this to the industries women work in compared to men.
The Biden stimulus package will be a large help, if he and Congress are able to get it done. Mason said the action should not stop there, but should be continued with job-creating legislation.
Improving infrastructure, raising wages and promoting paid sick leave
The pandemic has highlighted the need for a revamp of old infrastructure systems. She said the healthcare system needs to be addressed to ensure there is space should this happen again.
She also discussed raising the minimum wage, which has been stagnant for decades. Doing so will alleviate the burden of taxpayers, who support minimum wage earners who need public assistance.
Finally, Mason addressed the need for paid sick and family medical leave. The U.S. is the only industrialized nation without a federal law guaranteeing these.