The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn has had devastating impacts for American families. From the outset, women bore the brunt of the pandemic’s disruption to the economy, with Black women on the front lines at work and at home. Black women disproportionately were essential workers who continued to go to work while trying to navigate caregiving responsibilities, often in undervalued jobs with low wages and too few benefits. At the same time, they experienced among the highest rates of women’s unemployment during the pandemic, causing economic strains particularly because more than 80 percent of Black mothers are sole, primary, or co-breadwinners for their families. The pandemic also exacerbated long-standing wage and wealth gaps between Black and white households in America. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision overturning Roe v. Wade, and with it almost 50 years of precedent, poses even more economic and health risks by undermining Black women’s ability to make their own reproductive health decisions and exposing them to increasingly restrictive policies across the country.
Yamiche Alcindor, Host, PBS Washington Week; Washington Correspondent, NBC News
Jocelyn Frye, President, National Partnership for Women and Families
Patrick Gaspard, President and CEO, Center for American Progress
Nicole Lee Ndumele, Senior Vice President, Rights and Justice, Center for American Progress