As we confront the known and unknown challenges of COVID-19, we recognize life is dramatically more difficult for many people today than it was just a few weeks ago.
Women face discrimination on a daily basis and many are especially impacted by this crisis. The gender pay gap, the threat of domestic violence, and the strain of caring for children or elderly family members can add greatly to the level of anxiety and vulnerability a woman already feels for herself and her family. In addition, women are more likely to work in low-paying jobs or positions that do not offer benefits, and they make up the majority of health care workers and grocery store employees on the front-lines of this national emergency.
For over 30 years, the California Women’s Law Center has supported women and girls in our state. The pandemic has not changed our availability to those who need access to legal services. And, although we unfortunately need to postpone our in-person events for the foreseeable future, we stand ready to help those in need and be an advocate for the vulnerable members of our community.
If we can be of assistance, please contact us at email@example.com or (323) 951-1041.
Here are a few ways we can help:
PROVIDING SAFETY FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS
For women who live with an abusive partner, the shelter-at-home orders can mean an increased risk to their personal safety as well as members of their family. CWLC helps victims protect themselves and is a legal resource for people experiencing domestic violence. Our Guide to Domestic Violence Restraining Orders will be updated to share resources survivors can access during the pandemic.
PREVENTING LOW-INCOME RENTERS’ EVICTIONS
For the past two years, CWLC has been providing monthly workshops to help tenants understand their legal rights and avoid eviction. This is a priority of ours because nearly half of all Californians are rent burdened and the loss of a job can quickly drive people into homelessness. In the wake of this pandemic, state and local governments are imposing measures that temporarily ban evictions and foreclosures. California’s Judicial Council issued an emergency rule effectively banning all evictions and foreclosures for the duration of this crisis. It’s more critical than ever for renters to know their rights, and to fight back against gender discrimination in housing. CWLC will record a webinar on April 28th that outlines these changes and how they impact women and families. If you believe you have been treated unfairly because of your gender, please call us to discuss your situation. Our webinar will be available after April 28th.
CONNECTING WOMEN TO FINANCIAL RELIEF
This pandemic has amplified the financial hardships many people face on a daily basis. In this moment, women’s economic disadvantage is especially glaring. The gender wage gap means that women must work a full three months longer than men to earn the same amount, and the gap is far greater for women of color. These lower earnings mean that women have less ability to save, spend a higher percentage of their income on housing, and have little financial cushion, making them particularly vulnerable to economic disruptions. In addition, women are more likely to work in low-paying jobs or positions that do not offer benefits. Wage and gender discrimination compounds over a lifetime, and older women are increased at risk of poverty.
CWLC remains committed to supporting women and girls now and in the future. In this time of great uncertainty, we come together to support one another, and one way to do this is by advocating for paid sick leave and for women’s equal pay. While the two-trillion dollar stimulus package that Congress passed includes emergency paid sick leave, we need this benefit permanently to support the women and families who live on the edge financially every day. Contact your Congressional representative today to demand permanent paid sick leave.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON COVID-19 AND THE IMPACT ON WOMEN