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Stimulus check for working moms? How pandemic affected women

The Deseret News hosted a webinar Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, to address how the pandemic has disproportionately affected working moms. Screen grab from video by KSL NewsRadio.

Policymakers and advocates are trying to find solutions after many women, especially working moms, found themselves forced to leave the workforce during the pandemic.

One thought is that moms should get their own stimulus check.

“We can’t build America back better unless we build motherhood back better,” said Reshma Saujani, sponsor of the Marshall Plan for Moms, during a Deseret News webinar.

The group took out full-page ads recently in The New York Times and Washington Post to try to enact policy changes.

Working women, especially moms, hit hard by pandemic

More women and mothers found themselves either fired or forced to quit during pandemic lockdowns and restrictions. It especially affected women of color and those in lower-wage jobs.

En masse, many working moms cut back or quit work altogether when the pandemic closed schools and day-care facilities.

“It’s easy to look at this as women leaving the workforce, but I like to view it as women leaving a paid job for an unpaid job,” said Savannah Hopkinson, a Deseret News opinion writer.

A million more women than men have lost their jobs, and nearly 3 million have left the labor force during the pandemic. One analysis said four times more women than men left the workforce in September when schools started again remotely across the country.

“When disaster struck, America’s only backup system was its societal expectation of mothers,” said Hopkinson.

Many more topics like this came up when Hopkinson and Saujani took part in a Deseret News webinar last week with others nationwide. You can read more in their in-depth report here or watch the session below. 

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