We’ve finally come to the end of 2020. On January 1 of this year, no one would have guessed that the world of 2020 would have panned out the way it did. Here’s a list of changes in 2020 that will radically affect the lives of women (both the good and the bad).
Before we start, here’s a short recap of what went down in 2020. It started off with rumors of a new World War 3. Then the COVID-19 global pandemic happened, followed by the unprecedented shutdown of the world’s economy. Then the widely irregular Presidential election. But before that, massive anti-police, racially-charged riots and protests swept the nation. The list goes on. Among the craziness, 2020 also altered the lives of women in a lot of ways.
The Potential Rise of Violence against Women
One of the biggest political activism movements in 2020 was undeniably Black Lives Matter’s call to defund the police. Due to the political pressure, a lot of major cities have cut their police budgets in response to this movement. Unfortunately, this change spells trouble for most women who are in need of police protection.
Cities like LA are eliminating their sexual assault divisions.
Defunding the police will spell the potential rise of violence against women. Not only does this mean that crime overall will go up, but public transportation will also become more dangerous, and cities like LA are eliminating their sexual assault divisions. Women who were victims of crime, as well as mothers who are concerned about the neighborhood safety of their children, will live in worry and anxiety now that local law enforcement will be replaced with “social workers.”
The Increase of Female Gun Ownership
The saddest part of this call to defund the police is how it will overwhelmingly affect the lives of lower-income women, who are at the highest risk of being victims of crime and violence. As though life wasn’t tough enough, low-income women are also facing the added financial hardship brought upon them by the government-mandated shutdown of small businesses.
But for those who can afford it, we’re seeing a rise in female gun ownership. Sales of guns skyrocketed among the female demographic in 2020. Many cited the riots as well as the call to defund the police as their motivation to purchase a gun. Can you blame them? When government fails them, women have to take the responsibility of ensuring their own safety into their own hands.
The Changing Face of Women-Owned Businesses
It’s unforgivable, what the government did to small businesses. Years of hard work were abruptly destroyed under mandatory lockdown orders. We hear countless stories of women-owned businesses going into bankruptcy after years of being in business. Some might never financially recover from the debt they accrued due to the shutdowns. But even worse, it will probably deter women from taking the risk and starting a new business again in the future.
We’ve seen many women take matters into their own hands and start their own online businesses.
Fortunately, this pandemic also brought forth the resourcefulness of women. Due to the new lockdown economy, we’ve seen many women take matters into their own hands and start their own online businesses. They say “necessity is the mother of invention,” and we can observe how women rose to the challenges they faced out of necessity by taking matters into their own hands and re-inventing their livelihood.
The Return to Traditional Motherhood
It’s clear that the worst event which occurred in 2020 is the total economic lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, thousands of women have been forced to leave the workforce to take care of their children during the lockdown. While it’s true that the financial strain from the loss of income leads to economic hardships for most of us, this is perhaps a silver-lining for mothers who are fortunate enough to make the switch to working-from-home.
Mothers are also learning how to homeschool their children, which would allow them to be exposed to what their child is being taught in school. On top of that, during the pandemic’s unpredictable times, it’s comforting for children to have their mothers at home acting as a stable rock by their side.
The Portability of Work Licenses for Military Spouses
One of the best pieces of news to come out in 2020 was the passing of the Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act. This bill allows for military spouses with valid professional licenses in one state the reciprocity of having their licenses recognized in the state where their spouse is currently serving on military orders.
A Department of Defense news release stated that “Military spouses face a 24% unemployment rate, much higher than the general population. The high rate of unemployment is driven in large part by the mobile military life. Many military spouses who move interstate face new licensure requirements for their profession.”
“Implementing licensure portability measures will help to reduce employment barriers for military spouses, improving military family stability and quality of life,” said Marcus Beauregard, director for the department’s defense-state liaison office.
The ability to carry over their licenses to a different state will make it easier for the military wives to keep working.
“More than one-third of military spouses work in occupations that require licenses. Reducing the burden of licensure will also increase the pool of applicants in critical career fields experiencing shortages, such as health care and teaching, especially in military communities.”
Since most of our military spouses are women (92%), the ability to carry over their certifications and licenses to a different state will make it easier for the military wives to keep working in their profession. A hairdresser or a realtor, for example, will be able to stay in the labor force when they move to a different state with their active duty military spouse.
2020 will go down as one of the most difficult years for everyone. But if there’s one thing we can be sure of, it’s that the human spirit is capable of prevailing against hardships. Like women from previous generations who lived through much harder and trying times, we too will be tested, and we too will come out stronger from this experience.