Women Hold up Half the Sky: At What Cost?

Jamille Nagtalon-Ramos, EdD, MSN, WHNP-BC, IBCLC, FAANP


Nurs Econ. 2022;40(2):57-58. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


As we round the corner into the third year of the pandemic, women continue to disproportionately feel the personal, professional, and financial effects brought on by COVID-19. Compared to men who lost 1.6 million jobs between February 2020 (pre-COVID-19) and November 2021, women held 2.3 million fewer jobs during the same period (Institute for Women's Policy Research [IWPR], 2021). Historically, women have been the primary caregivers for their families, including caring for children and elderly parents. When the pandemic started, women were in an even tougher predicament with lockdowns, quarantines, closure of daycare and elder care centers, and schools switching to virtual learning. The burden of pivoting to accommodate caring for preschool-age children and navigating homeschooling for older kids was primarily placed upon women. They juggled a long list of family responsibilities while attempting to maintain job obligations to continue contributing to the household income. A 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics survey found, compared to men working full time, women working the same hours as their partners outside the home spent 50% more time each day on obligations to their families.