The Year of the Woman?

Across the country, women are winning primaries for their House and Senate seats. Roughly 37% of women candidates have won their Senate primaries while just over half of women candidates (51%) have won their House primaries. The majority are challenging incumbent opponents, while a third are incumbents themselves and 14% are running for open seats. 

But despite these victories for women in office, more and more women at home are facing increasing career challenges as the pandemic affects schools and child care options.

Currently, six out of seven children aren’t attending school in-person this fall and four out of five parents say they don’t have extra help to care for their children who are learning at home. Parents caring for children during the pandemic are losing eight hours of productivity per week. This trend generally impacts women more than men; one study earlier in the pandemic showed women were spending 65 hours per week on housework and child care while men spent 50.

Additionally, one in four women who reported becoming unemployed during the pandemic said it was because of a lack of child care – twice the rate among men. (Women are more likely to hold essential jobs, mostly in-person health care or community-based services that don’t have a remote working option). Loss of working hours due to lack of child care is even greater for women of color, women without a college degree and women living in low-income households.

These losses in working hours and unemployment among women could affect women’s career advancement and earning potential for years to come.