Since 23 March, lockdown regulations have restricted the movements of everyone in the UK to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. The crisis has affected everyone in Wales in different ways.
Lockdown has deeply affected every aspect of women’s lives, including their health, employment, and caring responsibilities for children and other adults. Gender-blind policymaking and the sectoral impact of lockdown measures have meant that lockdown has affected women and men in a multitude of different ways.
The economic effects of lockdown are falling heavily on women. Women are more likely to be doing low-paid work on insecure contracts in shutdown sectors1 and are twice as likely to be key workers.2 Across the UK, women are spending double the amount of time as men on homeschooling.
In May and June 2020, Chwarae Teg invited women across Wales to complete a survey and detail their experiences under lockdown, as well as their needs and hopes for recovery. Over 1000 women responded to this survey. This report focusses on women’s experiences in the labour market under Covid.
There is no singular female experience during this ongoing pandemic. Employment status, caring responsibilities for children and adults, as well as factors such as ethnicity, disability, and age have been instrumental in shaping women’s diverse experiences under lockdown and into recovery.