Besides the glaring racial inequities further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more research is showing the toll that the past year has taken on women.
On the economic front, the pandemic is leading to a so-called “shecession,” with advances women made in the workforce reversing course, according to PwC. In early March, the consultancy estimated that its annual Women in Work Index, “which measures female economic empowerment across 33 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries,” will fall 2.1 points between 2019 and 2021.
And last week, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that a higher percentage of women than men skipped preventive care during the pandemic. For instance, 38% of women versus 26% of men skipped their yearly check-up and 23% of women did not go in for a recommended medical test or treatment, compared with 15% of men.
KFF also found that women with incomes at 200% or higher of the federal poverty level were more likely to skip preventive care than women below that income level—40% versus 33%.
“A larger share of women with private insurance—23%—and Medicaid—26%—also report skipping a recommended medical test or treatment compared with uninsured women (18%),” KFF noted.
In pre-pandemic times, the reverse was true. Higher shares of women with lower incomes and who lacked insurance coverage reported skipping care. Women with more resources may be choosing to skip care because of concerns over COVID exposure.