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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani is leading a group of executives and celebrities calling on the Biden administration to help working moms who have borne an outsized share of the pandemic-related burden.

What's happening: Organizers note that women are leaving the workforce in large numbers. They're using a full-page ad in today's New York Times to propose a "Marshall Plan for Moms" that would see President Biden unleash federal dollars and policies to support working mothers.

Details: The Times ad takes the form of a letter, signed by more than 50 people, including MeToo founder Tarana Burke, Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd, Birchbox CEO Katia Beauchamp and celebrities such as Charlize Theron, Eva Longoria and Gabrielle Union.

  • They call on Biden to work with Congress to implement short-term monthly payments for moms and pass "long overdue policies like paid family leave, affordable childcare and pay equity."

By the numbers: According to a report from the National Women's Law Center, more than 2 million women have left the U.S. workforce since the pandemic began.

  • A December 2020 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that women were leaving the workforce at four times the rate of men.

"Every mom I know is exhausted," Saujani told Axios.

"When schools closed, we became teachers, nannies, tech support, cooks. Everything. All while working full time jobs. Too many of us have had to leave our jobs completely. It's a national crisis that needs a federal solution. We need a Marshall Plan for Moms — to give out means-tested payments, and stop treating them like America's social safety net. It's holding us back, and honestly it's holding this country back."
— Reshma Saujani, to Axios

Go deeper: Saujani tweeted a photo of the ad as it appeared in the Times Tuesday.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

WHO says most pregnant women can now receive coronavirus vaccine

A doctor administering Moderna's coronavirus vaccine at a university hospital in Essen, Germany, on Jan. 18. Photo: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has altered its guidance for pregnant women who wish to receive the coronavirus vaccine, saying now that those at high risk of exposure to the COVID-19 or who have comorbidities that increase their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated.

Why it matters: The WHO drew backlash for its previous guidance that did not recommend pregnant women be inoculated with vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, even though data indicated that pregnancy increased the risk of developing severe illness from the virus.

Updated 2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Swastikas found outside Union Station in D.C.

People walk through Union Station on Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Drawings of swastikas appeared etched around the entrance to Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.

Driving the news: "An investigation is underway with Amtrak Police and the Metropolitan Police Department after swastikas were reported on the exterior of Washington Union Station on Friday," Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in a statement to Axios.