Report launched into the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on women in Camden
Yesterday (Monday 6 March), the Camden Women’s Forum launched a new report into how the cost-of-living crisis is impacting women in the borough.
The Camden Women’s Forum brings together a range of experts from across the borough to develop practical solutions to the issues and barriers facing women and girls in the borough.
The forum’s latest report, which was launched yesterday to mark International Women’s Day on Wednesday 8 March, focuses on how the cost-of-living crisis is impacting women in Camden and how the Council, partners and communities can work together to ensure women are given the right support.
Key findings in the report show that:
- 90% of single parents are women and 60% of informal carers are women – which is leading to increased stress and isolation and the need for more women to find flexible employment.
- women are coming into the cost-of-living crisis from a disadvantaged position as women continue to earn less than men in employment and face a stark gender and pension pay gap.
- inflation is hitting women unequally, with the cost of women’s formal shoes increasing by 75% in comparison to men’s which increased by 14% between June 2020 to July 2021.
Thanks so much to the 100 women who spoke to the Women’s Forum about their experiences of the cost-of-living crisis, and for the women who shared their powerful stories at our event yesterday. For International Women’s Day, it’s important we amplify the voices of women in our borough to create real national and local change as women in Camden shouldn’t be going without food so their children can eat, or be unable to find flexible work around their caring commitments.
As a council, we’ve been doing a lot of work to address the cost-of-living crisis and working to promote flexible employment within the Council and in our local businesses, so we can become a fair and flexible borough. We have already taken urgent action to respond to the recommendations including making permanent the Mayor of London’s investment in universal primary free school meals for all pupils and creating a new school uniform fund. We will be responding to the full list of Women’s Forum recommendations in a July Cabinet paper on cost of living.
This report highlights that the cost-of-living crisis is exposing cracks in an already broken welfare system that is not set up to support the needs of women and their children. We co-produced this report with over 100 local women in Camden to hear first-hand how this crisis is affecting them and are proposing local and national recommendations which are needed around feeding, clothing and developing children; flexible working; and acknowledging the value of care.
Building on the optimism and the belief in collective action that we heard from the women of Camden, we are launching this report in time for this year’s International Women’s Day, and with the hope to instigate real change that women and children need now and in the future.
A series of actions will be taken locally to address the issues raised by local women in Camden listed in the report. This includes working with schools in Camden to make uniforms more affordable, encouraging local employers to offer flexible working and dependency leave for those with caring responsibilities and providing further training and education pathways for women.
So far, the Camden Women’s Forum have worked to address domestic violence and abuse in Camden, securing an additional £400k per year Council investment to tackle violence against women and girls, as well as the barriers facing women seeking employment.
How you can access support
If you are struggling to afford the essentials, – including food, energy bills or housing costs - or if you’re in debt, help and support is available. Together with our partners and voluntary sector organisations, we’re stepping in to provide a package of much-needed support – including a cost-of-living crisis fund for those who are in extreme financial hardship.
Find advice at camden.gov.uk/costofliving, call us on 020 7974 4444 (option 9), you can also call Citizens Advice Camden on 0800 278 7835 or contact one of the organisations in Camden Advice Network at camden.gov.uk/CAN.