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Mumsnet on COVID

After Coronavirus struck, in March 2020, from lockdowns and school closures to furlough and redundancy, its impact has disproportionately affected women...

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Aug 20, 2021

Women in covid

The effects of the pandemic have been appalling for everyone: the small-business owner seeing years of work go down the drain, the exhausted frontline worker facing another shift, shielding people who were virtually unable see or touch anyone outside their households for almost a year - and of course the grieving loved ones and relatives of so many people who have lost their lives. 

Throughout COVID we’ve regularly surveyed our users to discover just how they have been affected.

Mental Health

One of the biggest impacts has been on mental health. 3/4 of mothers say COVID-19 had negative mental health impact. Findings include:

  • 88% say they are worried about the impact on their children’s happiness 
  • 65% say the pandemic has had a negative impact on their children’s mental health
  • 79% agreed that ‘responsibility for home-schooling fell largely to me’ 

Gender inequality

We also discovered that 60% of mums say COVID had negative effect on gender equality and 77% said they are more worried about children missing out on social skills than academic skills as a result of the lockdowns.

Another survey revealed that 56% of women on Mumsnet fear we’re ‘going back to the 1970s’. Findings include:

  • 49% think gender/sex equality will regress over the next few years, while only 32% think it will improve.
  • 69% say they are worried about the long-term impact of COVID on women’s employment and seniority at work.

Misunderstood by politicians

A survey with Britain Thinks also revealed that 86% of mums feel politicians don’t understand them. Findings include:

  • 73% of all mums say they are ‘concerned about the opportunities my local area offers for young people’;
  • 64% say they feel pessimistic about job opportunities in their local area; and
  • 43% are pessimistic about their children’s future prospects (things like job opportunities and home ownership).