Shining a Spotlight on Female Caregivers
International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, observed every March, celebrates women’s achievements and contributions to history, culture and society. This annual recognition raises awareness against bias and inspires acting for equality. However, annual recognition is not enough. We must strive for ongoing awareness and meaningful acknowledgement of women and the impact they have on our world. The 2022 National Women’s History Alliance theme, “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” pays tribute to the endless work of caregivers and frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as recognition of all the ways women have provided healing and hope throughout history. In honor of Women’s History Month, this Community Care Corps blog recognizes women caregivers.
Historically, women have provided care to children, spouses, parents, family, friends and neighbors. Many women juggle caregiving responsibilities and work, a balancing act that has only been intensified during the pandemic due to a lack of childcare, adult day services and other daytime community supports. In recognition of their contributions, consider the following compelling statistics about our nation’s female caregivers:
61 percent of all caregivers are women.[i]
Women are most often the primary caregiver.i
Female caregivers report a significant decline in self-rated health.i
Women are overrepresented in unpaid caregiving, compared with their share of the workforce.[ii]
BIPOC women providing care are twice as likely as their white counterparts to have a high school education or less.[v]
Before and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, family caregiving responsibilities have fallen mostly on women. More than one in 10 women reported they were caring for a family member prior to the pandemic, and more than one in 10 women reported gaining new caregiving responsibilities as a result of the pandemic.[vi]
The challenges faced by not only female caregivers, but caregivers more broadly, require both an investment and expansion of home and community-based services as well as a national caregiving strategy. To help inform this strategy and infrastructure, Community Care Corps grantees implement innovative volunteer models that provide individuals and families with much-needed non-medical assistance. By delivering services that range from volunteer transportation and home maintenance to friendly visiting as well as respite and more, Community Care Corps grantees work with volunteers in their communities to meet local needs and relieve over-burdened family caregivers. To learn more about the work of this year’s grantees, visit the 2021-2022 Grantees page and check out these videos!
jlkjnjhb[i] https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/ppi/2020/05/full-report-caregiving-in-the-united-states.doi.10.26419-2Fppi.00103.001.pdf [ii] https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/economic-justice/paid-leave/paid-leave-caregivers-connected-2030.pdf [iii] https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/full/10.1377/hlthaff.2018.05514 [iv] https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/many-spanish-speaking-immigrant-caregivers-feel-left-child-care-relief-rcna1368 [v] https://phinational.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Racial-and-Gender-Disparities-in-DCW-PHI-2017.pdf [vi] https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/issue-brief/women-work-and-family-during-covid-19-findings-from-the-kff-womens-health-survey/