On the eve of International Women’s Day (8 March), we are highlighting the challenges women face when caring for a friend or family member.
Caring is still often thought of as being part and parcel of women’s lives, and women are still most likely to be providing care and most likely to be providing more hours of care. It is important the needs of women who are carers are met and that women are not disproportionately affected by their caring roles.
Carers UK’s State of Caring 2021 report states that:
- Women make up the majority (58%) of carers and 20% of women aged 45 to 54 are providing unpaid care to someone with a disability or illness or who is older.
- Female carers were more likely to be cutting back on hobbies or leisure activities (38%) than men (35%). Women were also more likely to be using credit cards (15%) than men (12%), and more likely to be using an overdraft to get by (13%) than men (10%).
- Female carers are more likely to report being lonely (93%), compared to 87% of male carers. Two in 5 women providing care said that not being comfortable with talking to friends about caring has made them feel lonely and socially isolated, compared to just 29% of male carers.
Ferzana has five children and she has been a carer for her eldest daughter for the last 14 years. She said, “As a woman there is an expectation that you’ve just got to do it.”
However, Ferzana added that her daughter who she and her family have come together to care for is now an independent woman who is receiving the support she needs.