Trump Vows to Get ‘Husbands’ Back to Work, But Women Are the Ones Without a Job

U.S. President Donald Trump pumps his fist after addressing supporters during a campaign rally at Capital Region International Airport October 27, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan. With one week until Election Day, Trump is campaigning in Michigan, a state he won in 2016 by less than 11,000 votes, the narrowest margin of victory in the state's presidential election history. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By Elle Meyers

October 28, 2020

Unemployment due to the pandemic has disproportionately put women out of work, but the president keeps talking about their husbands getting jobs.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump had a message straight out of the 1950s for women at his rally in Michigan: “We’re getting your husbands back to work.”

Trump went on to say that “everybody wants” their husbands back at work and claimed that the solution to the coronavirus pandemic “can never be worse than the problem itself.” The president’s rally took place as many states deal with COVID case spikes, including Michigan, which had over 3,000 new diagnoses and 35 deaths. 

In his remarks at the rally, Trump touted his support among women and claimed they would back him for reelection because “they want security, they want safety, they want law and order.” 

But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s not the men who need the most help getting back to work. Instead, women are disproportionately out of work due to the pandemic. The industries that have been hit hardest are ones in which women make up the majority of employees, such as restaurants, retail, hospitality, and health care.

Another reason? Schools moving to virtual instruction and closed daycare centers keep children at home. Women often provide the majority of childcare, and without schools or childcare, they’re forced to choose between work and childcare. 

“[Study] authors estimate that 15 million single mothers in the United States will be the most severely affected, with little potential for receiving other sources of childcare and a smaller likelihood of continuing to work during the crisis,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics wrote

In September, data showed that 865,000 women left the workforce, while only 216,000 men did the same. 

Trump has been courting women to vote for him in recent weeks as polls show the president is trailing behind Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden among women who are likely voters, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll. A Quinnipiac poll found that women favored Biden 60% to Trump at 34%.

During a campaign stop in Pennsylvania, Trump pleaded to the crowd for support from suburban women. 

“Can I ask you to do me a favor?” he asked, “Suburban women, would you please like me? Please. I saved your damn neighborhood, okay?”

His comments about neighborhoods refer to previous claims that he will protect suburbanites from affordable housing being built in their neighborhoods. The appeal plays on a historically racist fear about affordable housing and the people living there. 


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