Updated May 19, 2020   

As women are being disproportionately impacted by the Coronavirus, the National Organization for Women seeks to provide resources for activists and individuals dealing with a variety of gender-based challenges during these difficult times.  

In most families, the primary caregivers are women, meaning they are in charge of childcare during school shutdowns and are often caring for older parents. The majority of healthcare workers are also women, with estimates as high as 70 percent, and these women are on the front lines in hospitals and other medical facilities. Nurses and other providers are facing a lack of protective clothing and equipment despite coming into direct contact with patients. Female workers also dominate the restaurant and domestic worker industries, which are hard hit during this pandemic.  

These resources also aim to support women who may be trapped in their homes with abusers as a result of social distancing, undocumented immigrants in need of medical care, single mothers and families facing food insecurity, and others experiencing challenges who may not be getting the attention they deserve.  These resources will be updated regularly. 

These resources are for informational purposes only and do not indicate an endorsement from or partnership with the National Organization for Women.  

 Domestic Violence and Assault Survivors 

As a result of social distancing, women and LGBTQIA+ individuals may be forced to remain in their homes with their abusers and away from supportive services. While Coronavirus poses a medical risk, there are other dangers – physical, mental and emotional – that may accompany social distancing and isolation.   

 People Facing Food Insecurity  

As panic spreads across the United States, people clear out grocery stores in preparation for the worst – which can pose a challenge to women in the WIC program. Many workers are facing layoffs which affect food budgets and children in low-income families who rely on free and reduced lunches are also deeply impacted by school closures.  

 Childcare and Education 

There are far too many mothers who do not have access to paid sick leave or affordable childcare and who cannot take off work because they work in service industries.  

 Domestic and Food Service Workers 

Domestic and service industry workers across the country face economic challenges due to widespread restaurant and hotel closures and lack of paid sick leave. Those who remain are at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 because of the number of people they come in contact with.  

 Healthcare Workers 

Healthcare workers are on the front lines of this pandemic and are obviously at higher risk of being infected by the virus. Women dominate the healthcare field and likely face other challenges such as a need for childcare during this time.  

 Immigrant Women and Families 

For undocumented immigrants, being held in inhumane detention centers increases the risk of being infected by the COVID-19 virus. Visits to detention prisons are also being limited, leading to further isolation from the world and from their legal resources. For those not detained, fear of interior border patrol checkpoints and ICE raids are a barrier to seeking and receiving medical care along the border and across the United States.  

Other