By Emma Harper, Lily Tu, Jessica McHugh, Sara Rodriguez & Clemence Kelman
As the pandemic continues to alter everyone’s ‘new normal,’ women have been disproportionately affected. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women are losing more jobs as the result of business closures and layoffs. For women who have held onto their job security, many still face the difficult decision of choosing between career and family.
“The biggest problem is the lack of consensus about schools and childcare solutions, which creates debilitating uncertainty,” said Nancy Folbre, Professor Emerita of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst whose research emphasizes the “hidden” economy of unpaid care work.
Unfortunately, the burden more frequently falls on women to give up their jobs because they earn an average of 18% less than men in the U.S. While some households have chosen to split the housework and childcare duties equally, women spend an average of 15 more hours weekly on domestic labor than men. It begs the question: Is the pandemic simply magnifying unresolved issues, ones that our society has been trying to solve for decades?