Women bear brunt of Covid-related work stress, UK study finds

Women are being disproportionately affected by a rise in mental health problems caused by increasing workloads as people do their jobs from home amid the pandemic.



a person standing in front of a laptop computer: Photograph: borchee/Getty Images


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Photograph: borchee/Getty Images

The length of the working day has increased steadily, resulting in a 49% rise in mental distress reported by employees when compared with 2017-19. Women are bearing the brunt of problems as they juggle work and childcare, according to a report by the 4 Day Week campaign and thinktanks Compass and Autonomy.

The report, Burnout Britain, comes a day before World Mental Health Day and shows that women are 43% more likely to have increased their hours beyond a standard working week than men, and for those with children, this was even more clearly associated with mental health problems: 86% of women who are carrying out a standard working week alongside childcare, which is more than

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Opinion | Gina M. Raimondo, Mary Kay Henry: Women are bearing the brunt of the economic crisis. They have to lead our recovery plans.

Even before the pandemic exposed deep disparities in our economy and society, the gender wage gap persisted at every level of income and education. In 2019, two-thirds of minimum-wage workers were women. Women carry two-thirds of all student debt in the United States. Black women graduate with significantly more debt than White men and take longer to pay it off, as they earn just 62 cents for every dollar earned by White men. In 2019, nearly a quarter of female-headed households lived in poverty; for households headed by Black or Latina women, the rates were closer to 30 percent.

Only if our recovery is inclusive can we emerge from this crisis stronger.

Inclusivity requires state leadership as well as a comprehensive national strategy to ensure women’s economic security, health and safety. Front-line workers in the pandemic have struggled to keep patients safe amid inadequate staffing and insufficient protective gear such

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