Bloomfield discusses pandemic’s influence on ladies – Essex Information Every day

BLOOMFIELD, NJ – Bloomfield closed Women’s History Month by discussing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and their work in a March 31st meeting hosted by the local council and Bloomfield Civil Rights Commission, moderated by the councilor Jenny Mundell, the panel, addressed the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on the female workforce.

Councilor Sarah Cruz first asked the meeting attendees how many hats they were wearing, another way of describing their various responsibilities.

“I could see my hat wardrobe differently,” Cruz said of the pandemic. “There are hats that I knew I had and that I wear regularly, and then there are hats that I didn’t know I had and had to pull out. There are hats that I wanted to toss out of a window, some that I borrowed from friends, and some new ones that I actually bought. I think what’s really cool is that we as a species have the option to wear and stack them all at once. Sometimes it’s stressful and difficult, but we can choose to take a hat off. It was really inspiring to see other people move on, change their hats and help each other. “

Natascia Boeri, an assistant professor of sociology at Bloomfield College, spoke at the meeting about care work – childcare, cooking, housework and caring for the sick, disabled or the elderly.

“We’re in a care crisis,” said Boeri. “We have systemic inequalities between the sexes, but also between class and race, especially when we consider paid service providers. So many of them are women of color and immigrants. This was the case long before the pandemic, but the pandemic made it so clear that we are in a crisis. “

According to Boeri, there aren’t many guidelines to protect people who do care work. The only parental leave program in the U.S. is the Family and Medical Leave Act, which provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Not everyone is entitled to parental leave.

“Some states have mandated paid parental leave, like New Jersey, which is great. But the US is really lagging behind on this, ”Boeri said, adding that the United States is one of a small number of countries that do not have paid national parental leave.

Marieangelic Martinez, the owner of the Martinez Martial Arts and Family Fitness Center in Bloomfield, spoke at the meeting about how her own roles have changed over the past year.

“Women are culturally and traditionally the most likely to stay at home with children,” Martinez said. “As a self-employed person, it was frustrating at first to change the routine that we knew so well. We really had to switch because we had to close. “

Diane Hill, who lives in Bloomfield and works at Rutgers University-Newark as Assistant Chancellor for University-Community Partnerships, was also on the panel, speaking about the differences that existed long before the pandemic but in the wake of COVID-19 The spotlight has been keeping up in the last year, as have the number of people who have multiple jobs in addition to family commitments.

“We really noticed that there were more women in two and three jobs taking care of children at home. They also looked after family members and lived in households where COVID would affect the whole family, “Hill said. “Things probably haven’t changed as far as we knew what our commitments were, but what has changed is we got a reality check of how we understand we need to work differently.”

Health care workers were immediately hit by the pandemic, according to Sheana Ditri, who works as the assistant director on the Employee Assistance Program for RWJBarnabas Health. Ditri advises health care professionals on their mental health. She spoke about the blurred line between work and personal life, especially since many people were forced to work from home during the pandemic.

“Work bleeds into our personal lives and there is not enough time for recovery where sometimes we can leave work at the office and come home and be with our families,” said Ditri. “That would give us the time to renew and recover. When you work from home, there is no time frame. It’s like there is no time. “

She also stressed the importance of saying no.

“Most of the process of resetting our borders is being able to say no,” said Ditri. “As women in particular, we want to say yes, we want to take on everything because we can do everything. That way we are very strong. But being able to say no is a big step backwards towards our limits. “

The panel was an hour long; It can still be viewed on the city’s Facebook page at

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