Interview with Melinda Gates: How Revolutionizing Our Caregiving System Is ‘the Key to Reopening the Economy’

By Marianne Schnall


“Our economy is built on the back of women’s caregiving.”
– Melinda Gates

In a recent op-ed for the Washington Post, Melinda Gates argued that in order to reopen the country and rebuild the economy, we will need much more than testing and contact tracing. To keep sick Americans home and get healthy Americans back to work, we will need a radical new approach to caregiving. Melinda laid out solutions that policymakers, business leaders, and investors can act on so America’s broken caregiving system doesn’t hinder our recovery and leave vulnerable communities behind.

I had the opportunity to interview Melinda about the critical issues she raised in her op-ed, including why the impact on women and the aspect of caregiving became an area of focus and concern for her, why she thinks fixing our broken caregiving system is vital to our reopening and recovery, what she sees as the policies, innovations and solutions we can implement to create a more functional and equitable system, and how addressing this issue of caregiving is connected to her overarching goal of achieving gender equality in the U.S. and around the world, a cause which benefits us all.

Her heartfelt passion to these issues was evident, as well as her conviction that this pandemic was making many unseen and unaddressed societal problems “visible,” affording us a unique opportunity to address those issues and “build the world we want.”


News, Resources, and Actions

How Will Summer 2020 Look in the Age of Coronavirus?

By Hilary Weaver

Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone, complete with social-distancing failures. But this doesn’t mean the virus is over, as it might be spreading uncontrolled in 24 US states, particularly the South and the Midwest. Warm weather regardless, the virus hasn’t stopped being dangerous for women, as we are the population with the highest job loss and mothers are forced to quit their jobs to care for their children. Meanwhile, domestic violence calls mount.

These populations are still at risk
Unhoused people are grappling with ‘shelter in place’ orders when they have nowhere to shelter, and the wage gap is making frontline workers’ lives harder than they already are. Amazon isn’t treating its workers right and Hispanic leaders warn that the coronavirus will cause the Census to undercount minority communities. Thankfully, the fact that women are disproportionately affected is changing the way philanthropies think, Asian Americans are rallying together against continued coronavirus hate-crimes, and these five women are stepping up for their communities. Remember this is tough on everyone, so be sure to take care of your mental health.

RESOURCES: UN Women, The Philanthropist, NYC Well

We still have competent leaders to look to right now
The Trump administration has failed at rolling out sufficient testing, but women in science are working to find solutions while battling the patriarchy. This Georgia woman is running for Congress in the middle of a pandemic, making her part of the biggest class of woman candidates ever. And Nancy Pelosi is leading by example by coordinating her masks even if the President mocks the life-saving protective gear.

RESOURCE: Times Higher Education

Stay tuned to real people’s lives and stories
We’re inspired by these true stories: Hannah Matthews isn’t going to be able to meet her niece when she’s born, so she’s writing her letters. Marga Griesbach went through the Holocaust, and now she’s living through COVID-19. Queer people are planning to celebrate pride from their homes. And even though we can’t enjoy dining out like we used to, some couples are finding that cooking at home can be a love language.

FEATURED AUTHORS: Meagan Flynn, Miriam Berger, Brittany Shammas, Mark Berman, John Wagner, Candace Buckner, Michael Brice-Saddler, Colby Itkowitz, Hannah Knowles, Itvana Kottasová, Brittany Chambers, Caroline Kitchener, Julie Bosman, Phil Penman, Lakshmi Gandhi, Joanna Pachner, Karen Weise, Rafael Bernal, Tim Dickinson, Madison Feller, Rose Minutaglio, Jason Silverstein, Hannah Matthews, Rebecca Traister, Heath Owens, Angelina Chapin

Visit our Headlines & Resources section to find more subject-specific articles and resources.



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