THREE out of four women assisted by the Red Cross in Spain were living in extreme conditions of poverty.
This situation occurs when women live on incomes below €450, according to the Red Cross bulletin on ‘Social Vulnerability’, which studied the impact of the financial crisis on women.
The report shows that it was women who were employed who experienced the crisis more intensely due to the poor quality of their jobs. In fact, the rate of poor workers is as high as 80 per cent.
Creators of the study carried out more than 1,000 interviews of women aged between 18 and 65 years old who participated in social-aid programmes.
“Most of the women interviewed had lost their social network, 70 per cent of them could not make ends meet, 50 per cent could not turn on their heating,” explained the general coordinator of the Red Cross, Antoni Bruel, who stressed: “These women are qualified and are in a position to work”.
The average income of interviewed women’s households was €360 per month (as opposed to €758 of the general population) and 30 per cent did not receive a monthly income at all.
A total of 65 per cent had minors to children and seven out of 10 were in charge of looking after the home as well as child rearing
“The worse their financial situation is the worse their social life and the higher their isolation”, said Mr Bruel.
More than 70 per cent of those interviewed did not have friends or relatives who visited them or other acquaintances to turn to were they to go through financial problems, according to the report. Interviewees commented they always felt “tense or nervous” due to these reasons.
Red Cross assisted almost three million women in 2014, out of which 40,304 were included in the programme for women with social difficulties.
“The mental health of these women is especially worrying,” said Mr Bruel, who added that more than half of them were taking some sort of medication such as antidepressants or pills against anxiety.