Working Moms Among The Hardest Hit By Coronavirus Pandemic

About one in five working Americans are employed part-time, and women make up nearly two-thirds of that work force, according to a report from the National Women’s Law Center. Part-time workers are the least likely to have access to benefits, or continue to be paid during a downturn. Women are twice as likely as men to work part-time, making coronavirus-related business closures particularly devastating to mothers.

“For decades, critically important public programs and structures have been starved of funding, and efforts to ensure that women have adequate income, health care, worker protections, support for caregivers, and nutrition and housing assistance have been met with relentless resistance,” said Fatima Goss Graves, head of the National Women’s Law Center, in a statement to CBS News on Tuesday. “Those efforts have placed women and their families at unconscionable risk from the COVID-19 crisis.”

As Congress grapples with legislation to help families get through the COVID-19 outbreak — both medically and financially — Graves’ group recommended politicians prioritize three things in order to help mothers in particular: stabilize state governments and find ways to provide income to families as soon as possible. The organization also recommended protecting frontline workers; about 80% of healthcare workers are women, making them particularly vulnerable to the virus.