On Tuesday, presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden held a virtual town hall to address the impact of COVID-19 on women, with special guest and former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. During the event, Clinton formally endorsed Biden for the presidency.
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed Biden for the presidency. Former presidential candidates and senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren have all endorsed Biden, as has former president Barrack Obama.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Biden Campaign Has Been Buoyed By Support From Women
In March, the Brookings Institute credited female support and turnout for Biden’s victories over Sanders in the primaries. In particular, the Biden campaign saw “support [that] was eight percentage points higher on average among women than men.” In Michigan, a critical battleground state that Clinton lost in both the primary and the general election in 2016, Biden defeated Sanders by a narrow four points among men and by a gaping 23 points among women. Women not only turned out in higher rates across the country but widely supported Biden across a number of primaries around the country.
At a Democratic debate in March, Biden committed to selecting a woman as his running mate, prompting weeks of rumors and debate. Warren, Harris and Klobuchar have all been floated for the position, as have popular Democratic figures like Stacey Abrams and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
A Sexual Assault Accusation Was Filed Against Biden in March
Tara Reade, a former staffer for Biden’s senate office, filed an accusation of sexual assault against the presidential candidate in March, according to NPR. The allegation was made in an interview with Katie Halper for an NPR podcast. The sexual assault purportedly took place in 1993 and has been denied by the Biden campaign. The New York Times did not run the story immediately, prompting criticism and an explanatory interview with executive editor Dean Baquet.
Business Insider published on-the-record statements from two sources who have come forward to corroborate Reade’s story. In April 2019, Reade claimed that Biden had objectified and inappropriately touched her while she worked in his senate office in a report by the Union.
The Effect of the Coronavirus on Women Has Been Vast
While the coronavirus has proven more deadly for men than for women, the coronavirus has highlighted a number of the fundamental inequities women face at home, at the doctor’s office and at work. In March, The Atlantic ran a story outlining the ways the coronavirus has impacted women and calling the pandemic “a disaster for feminism.”
In 2017, solo moms made up 53% of unmarried parents, compared to solo dads, who make up only 12%, according to Pew Research. During the pandemic, this means women are more likely to be balancing childcare with a job, or else must get by while supporting a family without a job. Women are more likely to care for their elderly parents and after weeks of layoffs, women, who just three months ago achieved the majority of jobs, lost that status, according to NPR.
As couples and families shelter indoors, domestic violence rates are likely to rise, according to the New York Times. While domestic violence is perpetrated against both men and women, one in four women experience domestic violence compared to one in nine men, according to National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
The CDC found that 9% of women aged 15-49 hospitalized with COVID-19 were pregnant, compared to an estimated 9.9% of women aged 15-44 who are pregnant at any given time. Abortion was temporarily banned or severely restricted in several states, including Texas, Ohio, Alabama and Arkansas.