Vice President Kamala Harris and the ‘national emergency’ of women leaving the workforce

Kamala Harris, the Vice President of the United States, has called for urgent action to address the large numbers of women who have left work since the beginning of the pandemic. The figure has now reached 2.5 million, driven by both the demands of childcare, and the sharply increased levels of redundancy and furloughs throughout the last year. In comparison, the equivalent figure for men currently stands at 1.8 million.

In a recent op-ed in The Washington Post, Harris named this ‘mass exodus’ of women from the workforce a ‘national emergency’ demanding a ‘national solution’. Harris emphasised that women in lower-wage jobs, especially in the hospitality and health care industries, have been most affected. Harris also noted that women have been hit by the same closures of small businesses that have affected countries around the world — where there were 5 million women business owners in the US in February 2020, 1 in 4 had closed by April. Vice President Harris also held a virtual roundtable on 18th February, attended by many women’s advocacy groups, to reiterate her Washington Post call-to-action. Here she focused on the issue of childcare, a matter that still disproportionately affects women.

Kamala Harris

A possible national solution may be found in the Biden administrations $1.9 trillion relief plan, which contains many policies aimed at easing the burden on women, both unemployed and working. This includes the issuing of $3000 in tax credits to families for each child, an extension of unemployment benefits, and a $40 billion investment in childcare assistance.

As the first woman Vice President, Kamala Harris has already made clear that she intends to focus on issues disproportionately affecting women during her time in office. These issues go beyond the pandemic — Harris has been campaigning to close the gender pay gap since she first became a senator in 2017 and her proposals during her own presidential campaign included regulated paid family and sick leave, and a $15 per hour minimum wage. Harris’ apparent commitment to the lives of working women is more pertinent than ever given the threat posed by the pandemic.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Discover

Ever since I was a little girl, my dream was to be the best tennis player in the world. Luck has nothing to do with being good at the sport. I have spent many, many hours… countless hours… on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come but believing that it would.

Serena Williams

Tennis player

spot_imgspot_img

Latest

Élisabeth Borne – France’s First Female Prime Minister in 30 Years

Élisabeth Borne was appointed Prime Minister in France in May 2022. Nicknamed ‘Macron’s Iron Lady’, she dedicated her victory to ‘all the little girls...

Magdalena Andersson – Swedish Prime Minister leading the charge to join NATO

Magdalena Andersson is a Swedish economist serving as the Prime Minister of Sweden since 2021. She began her political career working in the Prime...

Jill Biden – Fist Lady’s Surprise Visit to Ukraine on Mothers’ Day

Jill Biden has made a surprise trip to Ukraine on US Mothers’ Day as an act of solidarity with the country. This trip was...

Kate Middleton – Profile

Kate Middleton, otherwise known qdas Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, GCVO, is a member of the British royal family. She is married to Prince William,...

Lyse Doucet – Award-winning BBC Chief International Correspondent

Lyse Doucet is an award-winning Canadian journalist who is the BBC’s Chief International Correspondent. Doucet is a native of New Brunswick, Canada, where she...