BOSTON, MA — MASS. COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN —
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women released a report relating to the child care and education crisis brought on by COVID-19 and its impact on women and working parents in Massachusetts. The report, informed by survey and hearing data, addresses the effects on the status of women across the Commonwealth brought on by the increased burden on women and caregivers. The report was shared with elected officials along with recommendations regarding policy that would affect positive change on behalf of women and their families during this time.
To gather data, the Commission circulated an online survey conducted through email and social media from September 2, 2020 to September 16, 2020. It received over 4000 responses by Massachusetts residents from more than 300 cities and towns. Following the survey, the Commission hosted a virtual public hearing on September 15, 2020 with over 60 participants; their verbal testimony was used to supplement the survey responses. Both sources demonstrated that the pandemic has amplified the barriers and inequalities women face every day.
Newly elected Chairwoman Denella Clark explains, “We are hearing about – and many of us are experiencing – intense stress related to the impossible task of simultaneously working and providing care. It is time that we as a Commonwealth understand that early education, care, and school are essential components to families’ economic stability and the state’s economy.”
Specific data show that almost half of the respondents experienced a direct impact on their employment status because availability to childcare and education became non-existent. Furthermore, 80 percent of respondents participants reported experiencing a significant to overwhelming amount of stress due to these changes.
The Commission’s report is located on their website, and can be reached through the following link: https://www.mass.gov/women.
The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is an independent state agency that was legislatively created in 1998 to advance women of the Commonwealth to full equality in all areas of life and to promote their rights and opportunities. The MCSW provides a permanent, effective voice for the women of Massachusetts.