New study highlights disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women and girls in CT

Coronavirus

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– The COVID pandemic has impacted all of us, and Thursday we are learning more about the disproportionate impact it is having on women and girls in Connecticut.

We know the pandemic has changed everything. One group wanted to examine how it’s impacted women. Not just with health, but in terms of finances, caregiving, and mental health.

“Until the COVID-19 pandemic, I owned a home-based family childcare business for three years,” said Candace Dorman, a small business owner.

It’s a story we’ve heard a lot, COVID turning lives upside down. With that, the Connecticut Collective for Women & Girls and​ Connecticut Data Collaborative released a new report. It highlights disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women and girls, especially on women and girls of color.

“Women are contracting COVID-19 and dying from it at higher rates than men. 54% of Covid cases were women. Black and Hispanic populations have higher cases and death rates than white populations,” said Jennifer Steadman, Aurora Women and Girls Foundation.

Then, there are the issues existed before magnified by the pandemic

“Women are struggling to feed themselves and their family. There is a 300% increase in an application for the food assistance program at SNAP,” said Steadman.

Economic insecurity, food insecurity, they’re all issues we see across the board, yet women are disproportionately affected, according to this study. That trickles over into housing, and paying rent.

“This is something that’s happened around the country and including here in Connecticut. It’s the movement around cancel rent, which would forgive essentially a lot of families issues,” said Alexis Smith, New Haven Legal Assistance. “But the numbers are astounding so we do need to kind of think about how we really manage being away to provide some relief to families.”

There’s the mental health impact, too. According to the study, 70% of women feel that anxiety, that percentage is even higher for women of color. They hope this study will bring awareness, and solutions.

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