The Hawaii Department of Human Services does not plan to make the "old normal" the "new normal" after the end of the pandemic. It recognizes the current crisis as an opportunity to build a new economic system based on gender equality. The state's plan calls for a universal basic income, and free publicly provided child care for essential workers.
The plan also calls for a nearly $25/hour minimum wage for single mothers, plus public emergency funds for undocumented women and domestic workers. It calls for a reinvestment in midwifery services as hospitals became strained by the pandemic. And it calls for a 20% pro-rata share of the state's COVID-19 response funds to go immediately to Native Hawaiian communities, with no strings attached. This will result in a new normal -- equality for women.