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Article: How Women in the UK Are Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic

How Women in the UK Are Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic

How Women in the UK Are Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic

The pandemic has been tough for everyone, but especially towards women. The impact of this global crisis on women and girls all around the world has been overwhelming. Cases of domestic violence have risen, single parents are struggling with childcare and employment as schools have closed and women in many countries are disproportionately on the frontline, working in the sectors most at risk. 

As we enter the month of March, we are celebrating Women's History Month and International Women's Day (March 8). We would like to take this time to note the problems, facts and possible solutions to how we can help women in the UK to cope during this troubling time.  

Gender Pay Gap

Globally, 70% of health workers and first responders are women, and yet, they are not at par with their male counterparts. At 28%, the gender pay gap in the health sector is higher than the overall gender pay gap (16%). In addition, the staggering fact is women accounted for 100% of the 140,000 jobs shed by the U.S. economy in December 2020. 
The Fawcett Society campaigns for gender equality and women’s rights at work, at home and in public life.
“Our vision is a society in which women and girls in all their diversity are equal and truly free to fulfil their potential creating a stronger, happier, better future for us all.”
They campaign for: 
  • Fight for equal pay. 50 years from the Equal Pay Act, women deserve the right to know what a male colleague doing the same work is paid if they suspect pay discrimination.
  • Secure equal power. Just 34% of MPs and 35% of councillors are women. We're campaigning to get more women in all our diversity into politics at every level.
  • Challenge attitudes and change minds. We are working to tackle gender stereotypes that hold back our children.
  • Defend women’s rights during Covid-19. We're campaigning to ensure that women are not left behind or their needs ignored during the crisis.

Rising Cases of Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse cases are thought to have increased by 20% during the lockdown, as many people are trapped at home with their abuser. The UN has described the worldwide increase in domestic abuse as a "shadow pandemic" alongside Covid-19.

Women’s Aid is a grassroots federation working together to provide life-saving services in England and build a future where domestic abuse is not tolerated. 

"We are working together against domestic abuse until women and children are safe"

 They provide support for domestic abuse survivors, campaigning to call on the government to tackle the cause and consequence of domestic abuse and educate and inform the society because everyone can play a role in ending domestic abuse.

Single Parents Are Struggling

90% of the UK’s 2 million single parents were women and they had “consistently been left behind” during the pandemic.
Gingerbread is the leading national charity working with single parent families. Since 1918, they have been at the forefront of shaping policy and services that support single parents.
"Today, there are two million single parent families in the country. We champion their voices and keep their needs at the heart of everything we do.”
There are six main areas we Gingerbread focuses on:
1. Childcare
2. Child maintenance
3. Employment and skills
4. families and relationships
5. Living standards and poverty
6. Welfare reform
Gingerbread also conducts and publish key research relating to these topics each year and campaign to effect change with and for single parents.


Lack Of Support For Women Menstruating

The pandemic has also been hard for individuals seeking asylum support. The UK offered protection, in the form of asylum, humanitarian protection, alternative forms of leave and resettlement, to 12,984 people (including dependants) in the year ending September 2020, 33% lower than the previous year. In addition to that, an incredible amount of women does not have access to basic necessities such as pads or tampons, resorting to methods of using socks or nothing at all.
Bloody Good Period 
Bloody Good Period fights for menstrual equity and the rights of all people who bleed. Many refugees, people in the asylum system and those living in poverty simply cannot afford period products. People who menstruate suffer because of the culture of embarrassment and shame that exists around this natural, biological process.
"We give period products to those who can’t afford them, and provides menstrual education to those less likely to access it. And we help everybody talk about periods."
We can not thank the charities and organisations mentioned above enough for existing, and all the incredible work they've done. If you would like to participate and help, you can read more on their respective websites. It is good to be reminded you can participate in many ways; whether it be monetary donations, volunteering work, spreading the mission and vision of these organisations, speaking out to your circle about the current climate or even catching up and educating oneself of what is happening in the world. Every little action, intention and promise helps. 
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