Women and Equalities Committee launches three inquiries amid coronavirus (COVID-19)

Women and Equalities Committee launches three inquiries amid coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Women and Equalities Committee has launched three new inquiries on the subject of the unequal impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Specifically, these inquiries will look at the subjects of coronavirus and its disproportionate affect on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people, the gendered economic impact of coronavirus, and disability and access to services during the coronavirus pandemic.

The inquiry on coronavirus and BAME people will:

• investigate the factors that made BAME communities vulnerable to the effects of the virus, for example overcrowded housing, health inequality and deprivation

• understand and analyse the impact of the virus on BAME communities, for example exposure and higher death rates

• examine the impact that government measures to contain the virus have had on BAME people, for example difficulty in self isolating, being key workers, or loss of income

• discuss what further steps can be taken to minimise the impact on BAME people

• the inquiry may also explore other impacts, including a reported rise in hate crimes, no recourse to public funds, over/under policing, unconscious bias in educational settings, or inaccessible government guidance for people whose first language is not English

The inquiry on gendered economic impact will consider:

• what measures the government should put in place to ensure gender equality in the longer term economic recovery from coronavirus, with specific reference to any upcoming financial announcements

• how the economic impact of coronavirus has affected men and women differently

• the extent to which the different impacts on men and women reflect existing sex or gender-based inequalities

• how government measures have affected economic inequalities for men and women

• effectiveness of the government’s economic support package for particular groups of men and women

• the specific economic impact on men and women with other protected characteristics or intersecting identities (for example, women or men with disabilities, women and men from BAME communities, pregnant women)

The inquiry on coronavirus, disability and access to services will look at:

• the effectiveness and accessibility of government communications and consultation

• access to food and the effectiveness of the government’s response to reported problems

• access to healthcare services, including treatment for coronavirus

• the mental health of disabled people including the effects of isolation, access to mental health services and the implications of temporary changes to the Mental Health Act 1983

• social care for disabled people in their homes and in residential care settings, including the effects of easements to duties in the Care Act 2014 in relation to social care and the approach to monitoring and reviewing these

• access to education

The coronavirus and BAME people inquiry can be found here.

The gendered economic impact inquiry can be found here.

The coronavirus, disability and access to services inquiry can be found here.

Source: Unequal impact of coronavirus: three new inquiries launched

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