Covid-19 is a global public health crisis rapidly triggering an unparalleled socio-economic crisis. Crises collide with pre-existing inequalities so that different groups of society experience them differently and often, disproportionately.
However, growing evidence shows that due to pre-existing gender and other inequalities, different groups of women in the UK will experience Covid-19 in specific ways in the short, medium and long term.
This report by Women’s Budget Group sets out to build on this evidence: outlining issues relating to women and Covid-19 in the UK and makes recommendations for gender-sensitive improvements to the UK Government’s response.
Just a few of the key recommendations:
- The Government should collect and publish sex-disaggregated data as well as data disaggregated by other relevant protected characteristics to best understand and act on this pattern
- All NHS and social care workers, including cleaners and other support staff, must have adequate PPE, and testing for Covid-19 should be rolled out as quickly as possible
- Keep women-only buildings/areas when allocating rooms to rough-sleepers to ensure women’s safety
- Child Benefit should be increased to £50 per child per week to cover loss of free school meals and cover some costs of children being at home full-time
- The VAWG sector needs immediate emergency funding, and longer term support to meet the expected surge in cases when lockdown is lifted.