The Women's Foundation of California | Tracking the Intersectional Impacts of Coronavirus

Tracking the Intersectional Impacts of Coronavirus

by Surina Khan

While we are all adapting to wildly different circumstances, the impacts of the Coronavirus are being felt in a very particular way by women and gender non-conforming people. In California, 88% of our nurses are women. There is the de facto uneven distribution of childcare and homeschooling with kids at home and domestic workers and caregivers being disproportionately impacted. There is sheltering in place when home doesn’t feel safe and not being able to access medical services. The gendered impacts of this pandemic are already being felt. 

The debate over what qualifies as an “essential service” in this pandemic moment is being used to block abortion access in Ohio and Texas. And even in our home state of California abortion access is being deeply limited. Just a few months ago, many in the Women’s Foundation California community rallied to pass SB 24 and ensure access to medical abortion at public colleges and universities across California. But now those campuses are closed until next school year. 

I will not be the first or last person to draw attention to the gendered impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic. As the leader and CEO of a feminist foundation focused on racial, economic, and gender justice, it feels important to continue to focus and refocus the conversation through an intersectional gender justice lens. 

To that end, I’m sharing a few of the pieces that I’ve been reading and thinking about as we figure out how to take care of each other in a constantly shifting landscape.  


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