Childcare responsibilities still widely fall on women — nearly 2.5 million women left the workforce after childcare centers and schools closed due to the pandemic.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.5 million women have left the workforce during the coronavirus pandemic compared to 1.8 million men. Vice President Kamala Harris called it a “national emergency.”
The massive discrepancy is a testament to the fact that women are still largely responsible for childcare.
“Women tend to be more in the essential workers positions, and those are the ones that often cannot be done from home. They need to go out,” said Liz Elting, founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation, in an interview with Business Insider’s Yelena Dzhanova. Elting’s foundation launched a multi-million dollar fund for pandemic relief.
“Or their positions have been eliminated, in which they’re not earning money, which is a problem. If they are able to work from home, they have kids to take care of with quarantining and home-schooling going on, and the work is basically falling on women,” Elting said. “So it’s a very difficult time for women, whether they do need to go out and risk their lives to take care of their families or if they’re at home earning a living and trying to take care of their family.”