UK Policy Briefings
Crises Collide: Women and Covid-19
Date Posted: Thursday 9th April 2020
Covid-19 is a global public health crisis which is fast developing into a serious economic crisis. It collides with pre-existing inequalities so that different groups of women will be disproportionately and differently impacted.
Crises Collide: Women and Covid-19 sets out the immediate impact that Covid- 19 crisis is having on different groups of women and makes recommendations for action.
Key facts: Women and Covid- 19
- Women are the majority of health and care workers. 77% of healthcare workers are women, as are 83% of the social care workforce.
- Women are the majority of workers with highest exposure to Covid-19. Of the 3,200,000 workers in ‘high risk’ roles, 77% are women. Over a million of these workers are paid below 60% median wages. 98% are women. 
- Young women are disproportionately likely to work in the sectors that have been hit hardest by the lock-down. 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.
- Women are more likely to be low paid and in insecure employment. 69% of low paid earners are women  74% of those in part-time employment are women. 54% of those on zero hours contracts are women.
- Women are the majority of people living in poverty and female-headed households are more likely to be poor. For example, 45% of lone parents (90% of whom are women) are living in poverty.
- Pre Covid-19, women were more likely to struggle with debt and bills. 39% of women and 34% of men reported it was a struggle to keep up with bills, some or most of the time, 26% of women and 23% of men said they ran out of money by the end of the month and 29% of women and 23% of men said they would not be able to make ends meet for a month or less if they lost their main source of income. 
- On average, women carry out 60% more unpaid work than men. This means they earn less, own less and are more likely to be living in poverty.
- Women are more likely to experience domestic and sexual violence and abuse. 20% of women and 4% of men have suffered sexual assault, including attempts, since age 16, equivalent to an estimated 3.4 million women and 631,000 men.  More than 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse during her lifetime: that is 1.3 million women under 60 in the last year alone. 
- Women are the majority (67%) of people living in homelessness, with single parents making up two-thirds of homeless families with children.
Over 60 women and equality organisations have come together to demand action to mitigate the worst impacts of the crisis on different groups of women. Read our statement here.