In an op-ed by Melinda Gates, she warns that the failure of world leaders to account for the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women will slow down the recovery and potentially cost the world economy trillions of dollars.   

“If policymakers ignore the ways that the disease and its impacts are affecting men and women differently,” she writes, “they risk prolonging the crisis and slowing economic recovery. But if they use this emergency as an opportunity to replace old systems with new and better ones, countries can build back more prosperous, more prepared, and more equal.” 

A related article in the Guardian shared the perspectives of seven women in Africa and Asia who are struggling financially, emotionally and physically during the pandemic. It’s important to recognize that this crisis impacts us all differently. We should strive to view this situation through the lens of women around the world, not just those in communities like our own. 

But here at home, the Senate has finally begun work on the next COVID-19 relief package.  The House passed the “Heroes Act” in May, and it’s taken this long for Mitch McConnell to take up the challenge of addressing the health and economic disparities that disproportionately burden workers, women, and communities of color during the pandemic. 

Many of our advocacy partners and allies are commenting on what’s needed from the Senate—and what we must prevent Republican Senators from blocking. 

The National Women’s Law Center posted this blog on why a second round of direct payments to individuals won’t be enough, and the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights, along with 91 civil rights, labor, and religious organizations released a letter urging senators to protect health, rights, and democracy in their legislation.  NOW was one of the signatories of this letter.   

Finally, our ongoing focus on systemic racism, bias, and discrimination in our society is illuminating new research, study, and investigation like this report in the Washington Post, about how Black families are consistently victimized by unfair property assessments that lead to widespread over-taxation—a “Black tax.” 

And I can’t leave you without acknowledging the loss we feel at the passing of Rep. John Lewis.  Here’s a video I found of John Lewis sitting down with the youngest Black woman to ever serve in Congress, Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL).  John Lewis was an inspiration to generations of activists, and we are still guided, enriched, and strengthened by his example.  May he rest in power.