Women plead with Congress to act on family issues on Capitol Hill
The economy is failing American women. That’s the tearful message that was sent to the House Ways and Means Committee during a recent hearing, as MarketWatch reported, with many women detailing the country’s lack of paid leave, its broken care economy and rising costs.
In his opening statement, Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., said the pandemic did not create the circumstances that force many women to juggle their careers, care for loved ones and financial instability, but it certainly made all of those things worse.
“We are so burned out, exhausted, overworked and overtired,” Tori Snyder, a single mother to a 4-year-old boy and small-business owner in Pittsburgh, as well as a member of the advocacy group MomsRising, told legislators. “We’re struggling even more now because it’s so expensive to feed our children. I hope you will invest in the care and the care infrastructure working families need with paid leave for all, affordable child care, home and community-based services and coverages that address all of our health care needs.”
While women’s participation in the labor force has ticked up after plunging earlier in the pandemic, there were still 656,000 fewer women working in May compared with February 2020, just before Covid struck, according to the National Women’s Law Center. To make matters worse, many women who overcame school closures, layoffs and child care shortages to return to work are now left to fend for themselves as pandemic relief measures, such as the enhanced child tax credit and expanded unemployment benefits, have expired.