An Exclusive CNN Poll Spotlights The Pandemic’s Impact On Women. Here’s Where They Are Hurting Most

An Exclusive CNN Poll Spotlights The Pandemic’s Impact On Women. Here’s Where They Are Hurting Most

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Editors Note: This story is part of As Equals, CNN’s ongoing series on gender inequality. Read more from As Equals here and read our FAQs for information about how the series is funded and more.

An average of more than 60% of women living in G7 countries whose lives were changed by the Covid-19 pandemic say their governments did not provide them with much of the support they needed to deal with those changes, according to a far-reaching new poll by CNN.

These exclusive findings come against the backdrop of numerous reports showing that women have been more adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic than men and resulting pledges to build back better touted by leaders around the world. 

CNN’s survey finds that although both men and women in G7 countries who experienced disruption to their lives caused by the pandemic felt they were largely unsupported by their governments, the sentiment is more pronounced among women.

In none of these seven countries did a majority of these women say they received a good amount or more of the support that they needed.

A lack of government supportWomen whose lives were changed by the pandemic were, on average, four percentage points less likely than men who faced changes to say their local government provided at least a good amount of the support they needed, and about seven percentage points less likely to say their national government provided similar levels of support.

Among women who say their lives were changed during the pandemic, an average of 31% say their local government provided at least a good amount of support in dealing with those changes, while this figure was 35% among men. When it comes to support provided by national governments, an average 33% of those women say they received at least a good amount of support, compared with 40% among those men.

The divide is particularly notable in the UK, France, and Italy. In these three countries, the percentage of people who experienced changes and say they received at least a good amount of support from their local government was 26% of women and 38% of men in the UK, 26% of women, and 39% of men in France and 29% of women and 40% of men in Italy.

For the percentage of people who experienced changes and say they received at least a good amount of support from their national government these figures were 30% of women and 45% of men in the UK, 29% of women and 42% of men in France, and 29% of women and 44% of men in Italy.

Of the G7 nations, Canada performed best, with 41% of women who experienced changes saying they felt supported by their local government and 47% by their national government. 

Not only did women not feel supported on average across the seven countries, they were also generally more unhappy than men with their governments’ handling of the pandemic.

Canada again fared better, with around 55% of women rating their government’s handling of the pandemic positively.

However, less than half of women in the other six nations approved, with the rest disapproving or unsure. In most, their impression of their government’s response to Covid-19 was significantly worse than that of men.  

Women are generally more unhappy than men with their governments’ handling of the pandemic% of women and men who approve their government’s handling of the pandemic

Where women say they’re hurting mostEvidence had already begun to emerge in 2020 and more in 2021 of the disruptions to women’s lives caused by the pandemic.

The International Labour Organization reported that 13 million fewer women would return to the workforce; data collected by UN Women found that in 13 countries across the world the pandemic “increased women’s experiences of violence and eroded their feelings of safety”; and, consistent with life before the pandemic, women were still bearing the burden of care disproportionately to men, spending on average an additional 5.2 hours a week on childcare, compared to 3.5 for men.

CNN’s findings reveals where exactly women in the G7 say they’re particularly hurting now.

Across the G7, an average of 81% of women say the pandemic caused at least some changes to their lives. Of these women, an average of 71% women said these changes were mostly negative, with 37% attesting that these changes were major.

Virtually all aspects of women’s everyday lives have been disrupted, with the top five areas of disruption being: future planning, community (their relationships with close family and friends), mental health, access to healthcare and their financial stability.

How wo

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An exclusive CNN poll spotlights the pandemic’s impact on women. Here’s where they are hurting most

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