For this month’s blog, I immersed myself in learning more about how previously established inequalities are already having an impact on who’s getting hit the most. This blog outlines the financial, physical, and emotional health-related impacts of COVID-19 on women and minority communities and provides resources for help at the bottom.
As reported in the Harvard Business Review layoffs disproportionately affect women and minorities. Why? Because companies tend to make cuts to roles that women and minorities usually have, they usually see these roles as expendable, functions that are important but usually not seen as the core of the business.
Women and minorities also have less cushion to absorb on downturns. According to the 2018 U.S. census data, women are 36% more likely to be poor than men! Women also take more responsibility for childcare and eldercare, which makes the logistics of returning to their job, post crises, all the more difficult.
The most at-risk sectors in this downturn are accommodation, food services, retail, manufacturing, and administrative services – industries that have higher than average employment among minorities and women. Women are on the front lines of this pandemic due to their higher employment rates in at-risk occupations like nursing, flight crew, and teachers.
African Americans in the U.S are currently accounting for higher rates of hospital visits and mortality related to COVID-19. One of the reasons put forth has been that African Americans are a disproportionately higher percentage of the prison population and that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is much higher in prison.
Domestic Violence and Community
Women that have been or are currently victims of domestic abuse are being confined to their homes with their abusive partners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Add to this the overall anxiety of lost employment and uncertain health, too many women are finding themselves in dangerous situations.
What You Can do to Help — or Get Help
You can also sign a petition for the Paycheck Fairness Act. Paid discrimination is a problem that we face on a daily basis that needs to be addressed, and why not now?
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act expands some Medicaid provisions and sick leave provisions and may help you even if you weren’t qualified before.
If you are or know someone that is in a Violent Domestic Relationship and need help, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Remember, you’re not alone. We’re in this together.