By Katie Rogers, New York Times
WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris said on Thursday that the 2.5 million women who have left the work force since the beginning of the pandemic constituted a “national emergency” that could be addressed by the Biden administration’s coronavirus relief plan.
That number, according to Labor Department data, compares with 1.8 million men who have left the work force. For many women, the demands of child care, coupled with layoffs and furloughs in an economy hit hard by the pandemic, has forced them out of the labor market.
“Our economy cannot fully recover unless women can participate fully,” Ms. Harris said on a video call with several women’s advocacy groups and lawmakers, essentially reiterating the argument she made in a Washington Post op-ed published last week.
On the call, the vice president painted a dire picture of the situation that millions of American women are facing during the pandemic. “In one year,” she said, “the pandemic has put decades of the progress we have collectively made for women workers at risk.”