In an op-ed published by Think Global Health, Professor Catherine Powell examines President Joe Biden’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and critiques the gender dichotomy between two of his legislative proposals—the American Jobs Plan and the American Family Plan.
Given the impacts on these historically female industries, economists call the current economic crisis a “shecession.” By contrast, men were more heavily affected during the 2009 downturn, when the housing slump affected jobs in manufacturing and residential construction. During the pandemic, job loss has been particularly severe at the intersection of race and gender, with Black, Latinx, and Asian American women disproportionately affected.
Enter President Joe Biden—”a man with a plan. Three plans, actually.” After his first legislative victory with the American Rescue Plan, Biden announced the American Jobs Plan and American Family Plan as the other two legs of the stool. While extremely laudable, it’s worth unpacking how the dichotomy between these two proposals reinforces the gender divide between the job market and the family.