Women’s Budget Group briefing: Lockdown 2021, immediate actions needed

Based on the evidence from 2020 it is clear that the current lockdown, including school closures, will have significant and distinct consequences for different groups of women and men.

This briefing summarises the immediate actions that the Government should take to avoid the negative impacts of the first lockdown in March 2020 when: 

  • Mothers did much more childcare and home-schooling than fathers in heterosexual couples with consequences for their employment and income.
  • Domestic abuse increased, paralleled by increased demand for support services. Cases of femicide as a result of domestic abuse more than doubled at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Women were twice as likely to be key workers as men and BAME people were also overrepresented. 39% of working mothers are key workers compared with just 27% of the working population as a whole.
  • Young women were disproportionately likely to work in the sectors that were hit hardest by previous lockdowns. 36% of young women and 25% of young men worked in sectors that have been closed down including restaurants, shops, leisure facilities and travel and tourism.
  • As a result, women were more likely to be furloughed, taking a 20% pay cut, in 72% of parliament constituencies across the UK.

Much more research and findings available in this policy briefing.

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