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Senators, including Wyden, reintroduce legislation to protect women's rights amid pandemic

This article was published in KPTV, Fox 12 Oregon.

(KPTV) – Women around the world are disproportionately bearing the burden of the COVID-19 crisis.

That's the message from three senators now reintroducing a resolution to Congress to protect women's rights amid the pandemic.

According to this resolution, during the pandemic, gender-based violence like domestic violence, child marriage, and female genital mutilation has increased and is expected to continue to increase. Also, women and girls perform three times the amount of unpaid care work in homes, and in their communities, as men.

U.S. Senators Cory Booker, Patty Murray and Ron Wyden reintroduced the resolution to Congress this week. It urges Congress to protect women and girls' rights in the U.S. and abroad and provides robust humanitarian aid that supports women and girls.

On Monday, Planned Parenthood in Oregon, which supports this resolution, spoke with FOX 12.

"When a crisis hits, women often bear the brunt of the burden – that's been painfully clear and is true with COVID. The pandemic has been hard on women as health a reproductive care they need becomes harder to get, economic security is harder to attain – we've even seen gender-biased violence become more prevalent," An Do, Interim Executive Director for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, said.

"A jobs report back in December showed employers cut 140,000 jobs and women accounted for 100 percent of those jobs losses. It's important to highlight that within the report Black, and Latina women lost jobs in December, while white women made significant gains," Do said.

The Women's Action for New Directions, another supporter of the legislation added:

"When women are physically and economically secure, societies on the whole are more prosperous. We must put women at the center of the pandemic recovery both here in the United States and abroad. The fallout from a nearly nonexistent COVID-19 mitigation strategy threatens to set gender equality, especially in the workplace, back years, if not decades. We cannot let this happen," Nancy Parrish, Executive Director of WAND said. "We are grateful that Senators Murray, Wyden, and Booker are prioritizing women at this crucial juncture, when we have the chance to make a real difference in the lives of American families."

Specifically, here are a few key points that the resolution will focus on:

Creating task forces charged with developing policies related to the COVID–19 crisis.

Integrating a gender lens throughout the response to COVID–19.

  • Support of life-saving health services such as sexual and reproductive health

  • Ensure adequate food and nutrition security for women and girls around the world, including women in agriculture.

  • Reinforce short-term relief

  • Long-term strategies for marginalized women globally

  • Improve access to health care, medical supplies and other vital aid and protection

View the full legislation here.

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