*Photograph: John Mangan

Women’s well-being is more adversely affected from the COVID-19 pandemic, research from the Central Statistics Office has outlined.

  • The percentage of women now reporting “Low” satisfaction with overall life is more than double the rate in 2013 (36.7% and 15.1% respectively).
  • More women (38.6%) than men (26.0%) reported feeling “downhearted and depressed”.
  • More women than men reported an increase in their consumption of alcohol, tobacco and junk food.
  • More female respondents reported being “Extremely” concerned about their own health, somebody else’s health and maintaining social ties than male respondents.
  • Almost half (48.6%) of female respondents reported that they would like to return to their place of work after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, compared to less than one in three (31.7%) of male respondents.
  • Almost nine in ten (88.4%) of female respondents rated their compliance with COVID-19 related government advice and guidelines as “High” compared with just over seven in ten (72.5%) of male respondents.

A survey carried out over eight days by the CSO in April and May covered topics such as well-being, personal concerns, consumption, working life and compliance with official COVID-19 advice. More women (38.6%) than men (26%) reported feeling “downhearted and depressed”.

There is evidence suggesting an association between psychological distress and changes in alcohol, tobacco and junk food consumption. A comparison of men and women’s responses to questions on changes in consumption behaviour since the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions, shows that more women (23.4%) than men reported an increase in alcohol consumption (23.4% and 20.9% respectively), however a much higher proportion of male respondents (26.0%) reported a decrease in alcohol consumption compared with females (8.6%).

Over one third (34.7%) of women that consume tobacco products reported that their consumption had increased since the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions compared with one in four men (26.2%). Fewer women reported a decrease (7.1%) compared with 10.2% of men. More women reported an increased consumption of junk food and sweets when compared with men (54.3% and 35.6% respectively). Women were also far less likely to report a reduction in junk food consumption. More than double the proportion of male respondents to females said their consumption of junk food and sweets had “Decreased” since the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions (17.0% versus 7.9%)

Both men and women rated their overall life satisfaction lower in April 2020 than in 2013 when the country was experiencing the effects of the 2008 financial crisis. In April 2020 however, there was a greater increase in the percentage of female respondents reporting “low” satisfaction with overall life. The percentage of women who rated their overall life satisfaction as “Low” in 2013 was 15.1%, with a similar percentage of men reporting the same (15.5%).

Five years later (2018), when the economy was growing strongly, this had improved significantly with just 9.0% of women and 8.4% of men reporting their overall life satisfaction as “Low”. The societal changes resulting from the COVID-19 crisis seems to be impacting more negatively on women’s well-being. The percentage of women now reporting “Low” satisfaction with overall life is more than double the rate in 2013 (36.7% and 15.1% respectively). The rate for men now reporting “Low” satisfaction with overall life has not risen as dramatically, with 22.0% reporting “Low” satisfaction in April 2020 compared with 15.5% in 2013.

A breakdown of the survey shows that more female respondents reported being ‘extremely’ concerned about their own health, somebody else’s health and maintaining social ties than male respondents. For example, more than one in four women (27.6%) were “Extremely” concerned about somebody else’s health, compared to one in five men (20.1%).

The percentage of respondents in April 2020 reporting that they felt “lonely”, “very nervous”, or “downhearted or depressed” was higher for women than for men. For example, for female respondents, almost four in ten (38.6%) reported that they felt “downhearted or depressed” at least some of the time in the four-week period prior to interview compared with just over one in four (26.0%) of male respondents.

Of those who are new to working from home, almost half (48.6%) of female respondents reported that they would like to return to their place of work after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, compared to less than one in three (31.7%) of male respondents. Male respondents were more likely to report wanting a mixture of working from home and at their place of work (60.9%) when compared with female respondents (43.9%).

Statistician, Claire Burke commented, “On the issue of compliance, the “Social Impact of COVID-19” survey found that both men and women’s compliance levels with the government’s current advice and guidelines regarding COVID-19 rose with the degree of concern for their own or somebody else’s health. For example, 84.2% of female respondents who were “Not at all” concerned for their own health rated their compliance as “High”. This percentage rose to 94.5% for women that were “Extremely” concerned for their own health. Less than four in ten (58.8%) men who were “Not at all” concerned for their own health rated their compliance as “High”. This percentage rose to 80.4% for men that were “Extremely” concerned for their own health”.

Related News

cranny cross
TII moving 'phenomenally slow' to make Cranny Cross safer
CE5084D3-5775-4CAD-A968-58EAD56F032B
Scariff Bay answers London’s Call in broadcasting first for station
gum litter 1 (1)
More men than women not disposing of their gum correctly
le24 election mary howard 2
The Electoral Chair: Ennis Municipal District the final outcome analysed
Latest News
3D printing 2 (1)
Zimmer Biomet: 3D Printing Healthcare Transformation in Oranmore
le24 election mary howard 2
The Electoral Chair: Ennis Municipal District the final outcome analysed
Homestead website-01
Robbie McCauley's make at home recipe: Baked fish in tinfoil
Website Oxygeneration-01
Jennifer Flaherty: Healing pressure sores with hyperbaric oxygenation
Website Smaranda-01
Smaranda Maier Wellness: Understanding the effects of stress
Premium
donie garrihy pat sweeney 1 (1)
'We're living in a death trap' - Doolin residents warn of further fatalities
avenue utd vs newmarket celtic 25-05-24 darragh leahy nnabuike nneji 1
50 game ban for Newmarket Celtic’s Leahy
le24 election alan o'callaghan 1
O’Callaghan to become next Mayor of Clare as roles agreed for next term
shannon development building 2
75 Ukrainians to be relocated from Shannon to Lisdoonvarna
pj ryan 1
'It was an emotional time and it still is' - PJ Ryan devastated to lose Council seat

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Scroll to Top