Marking International Women’s Day 2022, the European Parliament Director General for Communication commissioned a Flash Eurobarometer sample survey by Ipsos European Public Affairs of women >15 years of age in each of the 27 Member States from 25 January to 3 February 2022 to gather women's opinions on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a range of topics:
- European Parliament priorities for gender-related issues;
- Violence against women during the pandemic;
- Impact of the pandemic on women’s working lives and financial independence;
- Impact of the pandemic on mental health.
Some highlights from the "Women in times of COVID-19" summary, include:
- Women’s future priorities for the European Parliament priorities on gender-related issues: Trafficking and sexual exploitation for women and children (47%) and mental and physical violence against women (47%), followed by the gender pay gap and its impact on career development (41%) - were the top three gender related priorities for the European Parliament. About three in ten women (31%) thought that the EP should prioritise addressing the difficulties women have in reconciling their private and working lives, and a similar share (30%) selected the protection of women and girls belonging to vulnerable groups as a key priority for the EP. On the share of women that thought the EP should prioritise tackling the gender pay gap, there were significant differences between countries, ranging from 28% in Romania and 33% in Germany, Greece and Ireland, to 55% in Portugal.
- Violence against women during the pandemic: 77% of women in the EU thought that the pandemic had led to an increase in physical and emotional violence against women in their country. This ranged from 93% in Greece to 47% in Hungary. 46% said there had been a ‘large increase’ in violence against women and 31%, a ‘small increase’, but in all but two countries, a majority of women thought the pandemic had increased physical and emotional violence against women. A clear majority (58%) of women thought that the key measures to reducing violence against women was to make it easier to report violence against women, including to the police, while 40% said that more options for women to seek help were needed, for example through telephone hotlines, and more awareness and training for the police and judiciary. A similar proportion (38%) said a key measure was to increase women’s financial independence, 33% more awareness-raising campaigns and education on the subject, and 25% more measures to tackle online harassment.
- Impact of the pandemic on women’s working lives and financial independence: Four in ten respondents (38%) said that the pandemic has also had a negative impact on women’s income, as well as on their work-life balance (44%) and on the amount of time they allocate to paid work (21%). About one in five women has considered or actually reduced the time they allocate to paid work and are now more financially dependent on their partner.
- Impact of the pandemic on mental health: Around four in ten women (41%) said that lockdown and curfew measures that limited their options to shop, go out, go to events, etc. had had a major negative impact on their mental health, and the socio-demographic group most affected (40%) were women with one child under the age of 15 in the household, as a result of school and childcare closures. 22% of women said that the feeling they most closely identified with was ‘feeling depressed/suffering from depression’. Again, younger women were more likely to identify with most of the feelings/situations in the survey, for example, with regards the proportion of women feeling lonely/isolated, 41% of women aged 15-24 and 32% of those aged 25-39 identified with this feeling, compared to 24%-26% in the 40-54 age group or 55 and above.
To read the full executive summary, see here.
For survey details, data, country factsheets and methodology, see here.