A recent poll about the effects and concerns of Covid-19 suggests that women are bearing the brunt of the pandemic more than men
In a poll conducted by Fawcett Society and Ipsos Mori, it found that women are disproportionately affected by the current pandemic in a number of ways. As reported in the Guardian, it highlighted that women are experiencing more anxiety about the current situation even though studies have found that men are more likely to die from the virus.
In the study, 6 out of 10 women said they were finding it challenging to stay positive every day, which compares with just under half of men surveyed. It also showed that around 50% of women were worried about what risk the pandemic causes to the country in comparison to half of the men.
Chief Executive of Fawcett Society, Sam Smethers, said:
“the government needs to take a gendered approach as we lift the lockdown and begin to turn our attention to how we emerge from this crisis.”
He also added that an economy that leaves women and girls behind would fail to recover from this type of crisis.
Although women polled expressed their concerns about Covid-19, they were also found to be more likely to help others more during the lockdown than men. More than 40% said they said contacted someone vulnerable. Plus, women more often delivered supplies to some who were self-isolating.
This news comes after Breaking News today reported last month that 70% of companies are taking steps to address employee mental health during the pandemic.
Emotional anguish and redundancy woes for new mothers
The pandemic is a source of concern for pregnant women and new mothers, too, not just for health reasons but employment also.
A recent report in the Independent suggested that new mothers face an uncertain future in some jobs. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned that they are facing more discrimination during the pandemic, and some campaigners are reporting that pregnant women are being placed on sick, annual leave, or unpaid leave.
Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of the EHRC, commented that there are clear pressures on employers in these difficult times. However:
“the pressures of the coronavirus crisis add to the risk of discrimination.”
She did welcome the government’s announcement for an intention to increase the protection for pregnant women. Still, she said, “if we don’t act now the hard-earned rights of women at work will be set back.”
Although this news may come as some relief to new mothers, the EHRC has said they still are preparing for an increase in employment tribunals when people start going back to work. The director of Maternity Action, Rosalind Bragg, explained that the government had begun to implement protections back in 2017. However, women were still waiting for the promised help.
In another study carried out by The London School of Economics, it showed that women were more likely to lose their jobs than men. This was mostly due to the sectors that have been hardest hit employing a greater portion of women, including leisure, tourism, hospitality, and the arts.
Last month a study suggested that stress related to COVID-19 has steadily fallen since lockdown began, as well as general levels of anxiety.