The Crucial Role of Women of Color at the Center of Policy Solutions: Catherine Powell Addresses the Gender of Covid

Following a CNN opinion piece in which she coined the phrase “Color of Covid,” Catherine Powell (‘94), Fordham University School of Law Professor, contributed an article to Think Global Health addressing its correlation to the “Gender of Covid” (“The Color and Gender of COVID-19: Essential Workers, Not Disposable People,” June 4). In the corona work economy, in which one in every three jobs held by women is deemed essential (with women of color more likely of having essential jobs) and 75% of New York essential workers are persons of color, Catherine spotlights the intersection of race, gender and economic disparities and the voice of women of color in policy-making in securing protections and support. “The race and gender justice paradoxes of our emerging stay-at-home economy scramble our assumptions about the future of work. Ideally, these paradoxes would challenge the low value associated with the work that women—especially women of color—do in caring for children, the elderly, the sick, and others in need. … It is time we stop treating essential workers and the unemployed as ‘disposable’ people and start developing a politics of inclusion that better supports all of us—regardless of race, gender, and class.”