Womens Budget Group

Coronavirus pandemic: Social and economic impact on women






August 2020 – July 2021

Grant Awarded



Project summary

Women’s Budget Group (working jointly with the Fawcett Society, Engender, Women’s Equality Network Wales and the Northern Ireland Women’s Budget Group) will monitor the gendered impact of the coronavirus pandemic and aims to influence policy responses in Westminster and the devolved nations.


Both the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are likely to be significant, lasting and gendered. Women are the majority of those providing care, paid and unpaid and the majority of health workers. Women are more likely to be employed in service sectors that have been hit hardest by social distancing measures including hospitality, retail and travel and tourism.

Women are also more likely to be on insecure and zero-hours contracts, more likely to be dependent on social security and more likely to be in an insecure housing situation, which means they are more likely to be in debt, and less likely to have savings to cover a drop in income.

There has been limited gender impact analysis and recognition of the different impact the coronavirus pandemic and the policy and public spending response will have on women’s and men’s lives.

Project overview

The partnership will commission three waves of opinion polls over the next 12 months focussing on:

  • Employment and income;
  • Unpaid work;
  • Health and wellbeing.

Briefings will be produced from each wave of polling. These will contain short- and longer-term recommendations on social policy areas.