The Impact of COVID-19 on Women
There have been countless reports surrounding the impact of COVID-19 on women, especially working moms. The New York Times recently published a piece on the inequities of housework during the pandemic, and how, not surprisingly, domestic roles have stayed the same. The United Nations published something similar, noting the sad contradiction between 2020 marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action and the coronavirus’ negative effects on any social progress made.
I’m not a mother or wife. I don’t know what it is like to balance homeschooling with job responsibilities. I’m not sure what balancing domestic responsibilities look like between partners, and I’m certainly unaware of what it is like to have toddlers crash your Zoom meetings. I work on what I’m passionate about, and I don’t worry about making dinner for everyone and getting the kids ready for bed. I’m in a different place of life - the part where people tell me to enjoy those college nights and celebrate sleeping in on Mondays.
Despite the I’m nots, there is one important thing I am. I’m a woman. I understand the harsh realities of this world. From republican lawmakers trying to destroy my reproductive rights to the various workplace inequities, I know that being a woman is a fight - an endless fight - towards justice and equality. COVID-19 has shined a light on some social inequities, but from one woman to all the women out there struggling to get by or for the working moms that just keep pushing, I see you and I thank you.
I’m a young woman - some still might consider me a kid - and I see my mother at her desk and wonder if her life, like all the mothers out there, is what mine will be like: walking a fine line between being a mother and caretaker while trying to be individualistic and succeed in her dreams and career. I’m not saying women can have everything, but I am saying that being able to balance everything is hard (even more so during COVID). Your kids recognize this. Your daughters, young women like myself, see you. We are tired for you. We are sick of seeing gender roles stay constant and the hypocrisy of the households. I’m tired of people laughing at me when I say this is a “shecession.”
I don’t have a beautiful way to end this rant or words of wisdom to make you laugh before sending another email. I do, however, know that all the young women in this world look up to you, and we will fight like hell to get legislation passed so being a woman is not an endless fight but a journey - a beautiful journey - of equity and justice. So put on that pussyhat and get moving. We have a lot of work to do.