The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone’s lives in numerous ways, but people have and will continue to experience these challenges differently. Pandemics worsen existing gender inequities both domestically and abroad—and this one is no different.
While early estimates indicate that men are more likely to test positive for the virus, there is insufficient data to determine the complete effect of the disease among different genders, races, and ethnicities. Still, initial data suggest that the pandemic could exacerbate existing barriers to care that women experience, particularly for women of color, women with low incomes, women with disabilities, and women living in rural areas. Additionally, as unemployment skyrockets and the stock market continues to dip, creating financial strain for millions, women and people of color may be less able to afford COVID-19-related and other health care.