Eradicating Longstanding Disparities: A Gender Equality Agenda for Lawmakers for the Post-COVID-19 World

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July 16, 2020

Globally, the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had drastic public health and financial impacts on workers and families that are already deep, far-reaching, and unprecedented. These impacts underscore longstanding gender, racial, and socio-economic disparities in our economy and social structures, deepening existing inequities and imposing disproportionate, long-term harms on women’s economic security. As workplaces and the economy reopen, women are likely to be worse off than before.

"Now, more than ever, we must reimagine an economy and society that values all women and ensures that everyone can live and work with dignity."

Our Policy Brief builds on our 50 years of work tackling gender inequity to shed light on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting every aspect of women’s lives in disproportionate yet familiar ways. It covers impacts on:

  • employment and economic security,
  • workplace safety,
  • caregiving responsibilities,
  • healthcare access,
  • maternal and reproductive health,
  • personal safety and security, and
  • housing and food security.

The Policy Brief also identifies priorities for federal, state, and local governments and recommends measures to shape immediate short-term responses to address the gendered impact of this pandemic and to facilitate a long-term transformative agenda for inclusive gender equality. The COVID-19 crisis brings renewed urgency to enacting measures that Legal Momentum has championed for decades, including more equitable workplace practices. These include eliminating occupational segregation, establishing essential support structures such as paid leave and affordable child care for all workers and families, mandating a living wage for all workers, and ending worker exclusions in labor and anti-discrimination laws.

As lawmakers put in place emergency benefits, stimulus packages, budget priorities, and recovery plans, their approach must be informed by an understanding of the gender and racial impacts of this crisis and the underlying inequalities that led us here. Just as women and people of color are at the center of the global response to COVID-19, women and people of color must be at the decision-making table and their rights, interests, and voices must be at the center of our policy response.


  • Workplace Equality and Economic Empowerment


Seher Khawaja
  • Women Valued Initiative


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