May 2020 

The UK Government has made steps towards lifting the coronavirus lockdown, signalling a move to the next phase of the national response to the pandemic.

But with women making up a small minority of those involved in decision-making, gendered perspectives are being missed. This does not just risk inequalities - it means that the likelihood of us ending the lockdown successfully will be undermined.

This Fawcett Society report focuses on the impact of exiting lockdown on women in all our diversity.

What we're calling for: 

Action we're calling for from the UK Government includes:

  • Make test, track and trace work for women: Without comprehensive sick pay coverage and local testing hubs, not all women will be able to access tests or self-isolate in line with Government aims
  • Care infrastructure: Women rely more on childcare and social care. It is estimated we could see a loss of 10,000 childcare providers and 150,000 childcare places. Government must support the childcare and social care sectors with additional emergency funding.
  • Support parents: Child Benefit must be increased to mitigate the risk of a massive spike in child poverty. Government should bring forward the introduction of part-time furloughing, which would be useful for parents and employers.
  • Do not leave the vulnerable behind: The plan to rebuild must offer hope to people who are vulnerable to the virus and shielding. It must also offer workplace protections to their families and carers, and alternative education options if children in shielding households. 
  • Improve women’s representation in decision-making: Women must be better represented in decision-making and amongst government advisers.

Download the full briefing here.