As the spread of the respiratory virus, COVID-19, began to wreak havoc on the lives of millions of individuals across the globe, women were one of the largest groups disproportionately affected. Also known as the gender pay gap, the average difference between the earnings of men and women, is one of the various aspects of the gender gap struggles that women endure everyday and one which has been especially exacerbated during the pandemic. Though in the midst of the pandemic, women held more jobs than their male counterparts for the first time in almost a decade, comprising 50.04% of the American labor force, women make up the largest portion of American jobs lost due to the pandemic and therefore their representation in labor force will decrease. This is a result of several factors, including societal expectations of women to take responsibility for changing family needs in a COVID-19 world. Policy that more directly addresses the gender pay gap is necessary to improve conditions for women in the US and abroad.
For more on this topic, you can read Maria's piece "The Regressive Effects of COVID-19" here.