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In recognition of International Women's Day, Axios hosted a News Shapers conversation about COVID-19's impact on women of color, featuring San Francisco Mayor London Breed and activist Brittany Packnett Cunningham, host of the "Undistracted" podcast.

Mayor London Breed discussed how the city of San Francisco prioritized addressing women's systemic inequalities in their pandemic response, highlighting disproportionate child care and educational responsibilities.

  • On supporting working parents: "We set up learning hubs so that when the schools did shut down, and there were a lot of working parents that needed to get to work...parents and mostly women could continue to work while their child was being cared for."
  • On addressing the rise of domestic violence during public health quarantines: "Domestic violence was a big challenge during this pandemic and the need for mostly women to have safe places to go...We had to make sure that there were resources readily available."

Brittany Packnett Cunningham unpacked the impact of the pandemic on Black women, citing new research on health effects.

  • On the psychological and physical impacts of structural racism during the pandemic: "Racial battle fatigue is real, especially in a pandemic. What this also means is that there is a physical effect. What we've seen in the Black community is that we've actually lost 2.7 years of life expectancy due to COVID."
  • On centering the voices of those most impacted by the crisis: "An intersectional lens on justice is the approach that we have to take...Black women, Indigenous women, Latinos, and women of color who are suffering disproportionately from both the racial strife of this time and the sexist strife of this time should be at the center of [political] decision-making."

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.