Even before the pandemic exposed deep disparities in our economy and society, the gender wage gap persisted at every level of income and education. In 2019, two-thirds of minimum-wage workers were women. Women carry two-thirds of all student debt in the United States. Black women graduate with significantly more debt than White men and take longer to pay it off, as they earn just 62 cents for every dollar earned by White men. In 2019, nearly a quarter of female-headed households lived in poverty; for households headed by Black or Latina women, the rates were closer to 30 percent.
Only if our recovery is inclusive can we emerge from this crisis stronger.
Inclusivity requires state leadership as well as a comprehensive national strategy to ensure women’s economic security, health and safety. Front-line workers in the pandemic have struggled to keep patients safe amid inadequate staffing and insufficient protective gear such