Northern women disproportionately affected by the ‘financial fallout from the pandemic’
Women living in the north of England have been disproportionately hit by the recession triggered by the pandemic, according to a new study.
IPPR North researchers have found that nearly half of northern women currently working are in industries that have been most severely affected by the coronavirus emergency, such as retail and hospitality. .
In comparison, men make up only about a quarter of the workforce in these industries.
The report also found that most of the key workers in the north are women, making them more vulnerable to infection and death during the Covid crisis. Men make up only 6 percent of health and social service workers in the north of the country.
Amreen Qureshi, think tank researcher, said: “Inequalities do not exist in silos. They interact with each other. Women in the North experience regional, economic, racial and other inequalities – some at the same time.
“Even before the pandemic, women in the North – especially those in the poorest communities – saw their life expectancy decline after a decade of austerity.
“Women earn less, are more likely to be key workers and to experience gender-based violence, and they take greater responsibility for informal care.”
Ms Qureshi said there was no “excuse to overlook” the impact of “widening inequalities” on women in the north, as they called for “actions, not words” from the government to ensure that the country “rebuilt more just for women”.
The study found that one in ten women who worked in the north of England had been put on leave in the past year, which roughly equates to the rest of the country. Some 1.9 million people were on leave across the UK in December – including around 382,000 women from the North.
Sarah Longlands, Director of IPPR North, said: “As an older woman working in public policy, I have lost count of how many times I have been the only woman in the room talking about future of regions like the north. .
“The opportunities we have to build a better future for the North can only be fully realized when we challenge the status quo and do all we can to amplify the voices of women in our communities, in our policies and in our policies. public.
The researchers called for improving wages and working conditions for women in the North and for collecting appropriate data on inequalities.
Women in the UK were overrepresented in low-paying precarious sectors such as healthcare, retail and hospitality, where zero-hour contracts are regularly awarded, before the pandemic.
Research has shown that women are more likely to lose their jobs in the public health crisis – with women being overrepresented in sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, such as hospitality, retail, leisure , tourism and the arts.
A recent study found that nearly a third of women who held frontline positions during the Covid crisis were forced to return to their savings to manage their financial difficulties.
The report, carried out by Unison, found that women employed in key worker roles were spending more on household bills during the pandemic, with nearly half seeing their spending increase.
The increase in the cost of living was linked to higher spending on energy, food, technology and transportation, with reasons given such as the obligation to care for children at home due to closures. schools and having a partner on leave or working from home.
The union, which interviewed nearly 47,000 women, found that some respondents were in a “ desperate ” situation of having to cover the cost of all their bills after a partner died from the coronavirus, and that others had resorted to extra blankets to stay warm while they couldn’t afford their electricity bills.