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Women and the Coronavirus Pandemic

April 20, 2020

This is a difficult time for everyone, and we are all experiencing the extraordinary stress and strain that the coronavirus pandemic is having on our physical and mental health.

As the country adapts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and prepares for a lengthy economic recovery, many women face unique challenges based on their roles and economic status.

For example, when the pandemic forced the loss of jobs, the majority of those who were first to lose employment were women.

“Most people who live below the poverty line in this country are women, in particular – single mothers, women of color, and older women who live alone,” said Women’s Health Research at Yale Director Carolyn M. Mazure, Ph.D. “So, many women who were struggling just to pay their bills are in even greater economic jeopardy with attendant health consequences.”

Moreover, in addition to usual home and childcare responsibilities, women are 60 percent of those who provide unpaid care for children with special needs or adult friends and family members. Consequently, the added burdens caused by the pandemic amplify the struggles these women have in providing much-needed yet unpaid care to others.

Dr. Mazure spoke of these and other issues relevant to the health of women Thursday in the first of a series of weekly “A Conversation Between …” webinars hosted by the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame. Dr. Mazure was inducted into the Hall in 2009.

The conversation, between Dr. Mazure and Geena C. Clonan, the Hall’s Founding President, focused on what early research is telling us (and not telling us) about the gendered effects of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as how Yale’s clinical and research efforts are leading efforts to defeat this disease and restore public life.

Click here to watch a video of the full discussion.

Submitted by Rick Harrison on April 20, 2020