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In society, money is equated with financial freedom: a freedom currently denied to women in drastic ways. Women face gender discrimination in the workplace, imbalance of responsibilities in the home, lack access to care infrastructure like childcare and family leave benefits, plus many other barriers that put them at high-risk for financial insecurity.  

Women are also more likely to face poverty than their male counterparts; in fact, women continue to have higher poverty rates than men in every age category as women still only make 82 cents on the dollar according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This disparity is even worse for women of color. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has augmented the harsh economic experiences that countless women face in the United States, illustrating why lawmakers must address such inequities quickly and efficiently. December 2020 marked unprecedented rates of job losses and illustrated that the fallout from the pandemic is far from over. Women had been the group hardest hit with job losses since the start of the pandemic: with women making up 55% of net job losses, summing 12.2 million jobs lost in April 2020. On top of that women, especially women of color, took on the most essential jobs during the pandemic, working in healthcare, childcare, restaurant/service, and the domestic worker industries, which were the hardest hit during the pandemic. 

Even though we are seeing some gains in 2021, the job losses that took place in two years are not outliers in the American labor landscape. These losses are emblematic of the larger issue: women’s economic security continues to be precarious. We invite NOW members and ally activists to join us for this important conversation as we continue our efforts to ensure economic justice for women. Come learn from our expert panelists on next steps we can take to create meaningful change. 

Equal pay is a life-or-death issue for women—we can no longer wait for economic justice. 


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