Two reviews of how women changed the trajectory in the 2020 presidential campaign were published in nationally known newspapers.
In the Tuesday edition of the Wall Street Journal, Columnist Gerald F. Seib devoted his space to an article headed “Big Year for Women Suggests a New Era.”
The New York Times on the same publication day featured a piece by Patricia Cohen titled, “Recession With a Difference: Women Face Special Burden.”
Seib cites a list of highlights among women who have triumphed in the election year. He offered this quote: “It’s not the year of the woman, but I would say it’s the era of women in the Democratic Party.”
The message was delivered by Anita Dunn, a top adviser to President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign. “And if you look at the Republican congressional pickup, it’s that for the Republican Party as well.”
She reported that women voters were responsible for Biden’s victory. Women made up 53% of the electorate, according to the AP VoteCast survey of 110,000 voters, and they went for Biden by a substantial 55% to 44%.
Kamala Harris will become the first woman to serve as vice president.
A record-shattering number of Republican women were elected to the House of Representatives. At least 17 new GOP House members are women. At publication time, two races involving women were undecided.
For the second straight election, a woman was the manager of the winning presidential campaign. It was Jen O’Malley Dillon for Biden.
Women provided essential firepower for Biden in swing states. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was a critical ally. Cindy McCain, wife of the late Republican Sen. John McCain, offered a key endorsement in her home state of Arizona. The voter turnout operation of former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams was essential to the Biden team in Georgia.
Cohen began her NYT article with the strongly worded news that the Coronavirus has delivered a rare and ruinous one-two-three punch.
First, the parts of the economy that were smacked hardest and earliest job losses were ones where women dominate — restaurants, retail businesses and health care.
Then she reports that the second wave began taking out local and state government jobs, another area where women outnumber men.
She refers to the third blow as a harsh knockout: the closing of child care centers and the shift to remote schooling. That has saddled working mothers, much more than fathers, with overwhelming household responsibilities.
“The impact on the economic and social landscape is both immediate and enduring,” she wrote.
The third punch is not just pushing out of jobs they held, but is also preventing many from seeking new ones.
“For an individual, it could limit prospects and earnings over a lifetime. Across the nation, it could stunt growth, robbing the economy of educated, experienced and dedicated workers,” Cohen wrote.
There were 4.5 million fewer women employed in October than there were a year before.
As we try to curb the global pandemic, there are millions of women achievement anecdotes and more tales weighed by sadness that may take some time to cure.