International Women’s Day and caring

The 2021 census showed that, in the UK, 59% of unpaid carers are women. Those figures are mirrored locally with the majority of carers registered with Carers Support Centre and those using our services being women.

Women maintain the burden of caring locally, nationally and globally as this video from Age UK shows.

Parent carers also tend to be predominantly women, and those who care for older relatives as well as children, known as ‘sandwich carers’, are, again, mainly women (68%, Age UK).  

In providing the majority of care in our society, women often have to set aside their own aspirations. Jobs and careers, for instance, are put on hold or even sacrificed altogether to pay attention to caring for others – many are forced to give up their job to be full-time carers.

Women in this country are also working with a struggling care system, which leaves women in a position where they are often left to pick up the pieces.

All this adds up to women carers being or becoming disadvantaged. As Bristol Women’s Voice points out, ‘unpaid work around the world, and gender imbalances in the distribution of care work constitute a root cause of women’s economic and social disempowerment’. 

Unfortunately, there aren’t clear signs that these imbalances are changing.  

However, we’ve been given the opportunity to make a real, positive difference for carers, particularly women carers. We’ve partnered with Bristol Women’s Voice and other local organisations to campaign for greater investment in carers. This campaign, led by women, offers an opportunity to make the voices of carers heard and create real policy change.  

Find out more about this campaign, and how to make your voice heard: Supporting Bristol Women’s Voice: A Call to Invest in the Caring Economy | Carers Support Centre 

International Women’s Day provides an opportunity for us to recognise and say thank you to all the women carers of Bristol and South Gloucestershire and to make a pledge to continue to work and campaign to make things better for you.