It’s March! and that means it is Women’s History Month! This month, we take the time to honor and reflect on the contributions that women have made to society. In the past, women have fought for and won the right to vote and we are currently fighting for equal pay and for the rights of victims of sexual assault (#MeToo). Like other formerly disenfranchised groups, women’s voices have historically been silenced leading to the disparities mentioned earlier as well as disparities in healthcare, education and almost every other facet of life.
Over the past twelve months, these inequalities have become greater as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic. My friend, Christine Koh, had an amazing write-up in The Washington Post about her experience navigating the pandemic as a mom. Her article Why working moms deserve a tantrum (and how to get through the remainder of the pandemic), is a glimpse into the oftentimes imperfect side of motherhood. Her highly stressful ordeal reflects the shared experience of moms across the globe who are trying to manage a job in addition to a hectic household. Christine has given tips for retaining sanity as the pandemic trudges into its twelfth month (number three has helped me immensely).
But us working mothers, surprising to say, could be considered the lucky ones. Other working moms have lost their jobs and struggle daily to make ends meet with whatever they can while balancing a stressful home life. The Center for American Progress published the article entitled “When Women Lose All the Jobs: Essential Actions for a Gender-Equitable Recovery”, written by Diana Boesch and Shilpa Phadke. In this article, the pair illustrates the job loss inequality in America. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs due to layoffs and business closures, but women have accounted for over half of these pandemic-related job losses with minority women affected the worst (Boesch and Phadke). As women have been leaving jobs during the pandemic, it is clear that something must be done.
But what can I do?
We've come a long way, but we have a long way to go until women fully experience the equality they deserve. This month, raise your level awareness about what women are collectively experiencing. Leverage your privilege to elevate the voices of women who are experiencing injustice or inequity. Take a moment to realize that it's not just about gender, but race and socioeconomic status plays a part in the layered ways that women experience pay, healthcare, job security, access, wealth, and more. Let's continue the work!
Read about my own journey balancing womanhood, motherhood, and work:
I'm a former teacher and former college athlete, currently working to make life more equitable for all people. My mission is to get parents to partner with their child's teacher.