One in four women are the breadwinner in their household – but 50 percent more likely to lose their jobs than fathers during lockdown

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Under Lockdown: City in Spain placed back into quarantine. Credit: Shutterstock

A new study has shown that Mothers are now almost 50 percent more likely to have lost their jobs than fathers during the coronavirus pandemic.

In many of the industries where employee cuts have been made, women are not only losing their jobs, but they are also losing them at a disproportionately higher rate than men who work in the same field.

Of those who were previously in paid employment, mothers are 47 percent more likely than fathers to have permanently lost their job or quit since February, the study found.

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Mothers are 23 percent more likely than fathers to have lost their jobs during the current crisis, and 14 percent more likely to have been furloughed.

Researchers carried out a survey of 3,500 families about how lockdown has affected their work and domestic responsibilities. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned of the potential for “lasting harm” to women’s careers as a result of lockdown.

Mothers are also spending more of their working hours simultaneously trying to care for children compared to men according to the analysis.


“The adverse effects of this crisis may not impact mothers’ and fathers’ ability to do paid work equally,” the IFS report said.  “Mothers are more likely than fathers to work in the sectors that are taking the biggest hit from the lockdown. This aspect is different from in previous recessions, in which male-dominated sectors suffered the most.”

Women are overrepresented in the retail and hospitality sectors which have been among the hardest hit by the virus, previous studies have found. Where women are still employed, the economic upheaval created by Covid-19 is having a disproportionately negative impact on women’s salaries, the IFS said.





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