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Gendering the UK's social policy response to the Covid-19 crisis

The Covid-19 outbreak and resultant economic crisis has led to governments around the world, including the UK, taking extraordinary action to support citizens facing unprecedented shocks to their livelihoods. Bodies such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) recommend that such measures should include targeted support for the most affected population groups (ILO, 2020). Women form one of these groups, with disproportionate impacts on their employment and economic resources already documented (Adams-Prassl et al., 2020) amid concerns that the crisis will exacerbate underlying gender inequalities (Wenham, Smith and Morgan, 2020). To mitigate this and ensure a gender-sensitive recovery from the crisis, we need to understand the gendered nature and implications of current Covid-19 social policy interventions, which is currently lacking. To fill this gap, this project will gather information on global social policy responses and assess the extent to which they are gender-sensitive. We will produce a Policy Tracker to be made available to policy makers and the broader research and advocacy community to enable learning from other countries’ experiences and broaden the scope of existing trackers that have focused on global public health and fiscal responses. The project will further examine the extent to which different demographic groups and household types have accessed government support, and the relationship between different countries’ policy packages and longer term outcomes, with a focus on gender inequalities. In sum, the project will provide a comprehensive assessment of whether the UK’s social policy response is gender-sensitive, gender-blind or gender-neutral in its design, access and impacts.

Lead investigator:

Rose Cook


King's College London

Primary topic:

Inequality & poverty

Secondary topic:

Families & households

Region of data collection:


Country of data collection


Status of data collection


Type of data being collected:


Unit of real-time data collection