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Council agrees to address the unequal impacts of Covid-19 on women with disabilities

A motion has been passed by Lambeth Council to support women with disabilities.

Lambeth Green Party councillors tabled the motion at last night’s full council meeting, demanding action to alleviate the multiple inequalities experienced by women with disabilities and heightened in the current economic and health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic (1).

The council will now be required to act in addition to calling on the government to work with local councils and provide the support that parents with disabilities need.

The government must review the suspension of Care Act duties on a routine basis, to assess its impact on disabled people who rely on care that is funded by social services. This should also assess how the suspension is impacting those who have multiple protected characteristics, such as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic women.

The motion is premised on the findings of a survey, conducted by the Fawcett Society and others in April of this year (2). The research lifts the lid on the intersectional nature of inequality. As people with disabilities are more likely to rely on public services, the impacts of economic crisis are particularly hard hitting and the costs to mental health have been significant.

People with disabilities were most likely to say that they will come out of lockdown in more debt, with 1 in 5 women with disabilities losing access to support from the government. To compound these issues, many are unsure where to turn to for help as a result of the pandemic.

Now, the council will act to increase funding, to both women’s organisations and mental health service providers, to help these women access the support they need at this psychologically challenging time.

St Leonards Green Councillor, Nicole Griffiths said: “Women are more likely to have disabilities than men, and even before the pandemic were at heightened risk of poverty, being victims of domestic violence and abuse and in insecure and low paid employment, compared to both men with disabilities and people without disabilities.”

Herne Hill Green Councillor, Becca Thackray said: "This Friday WinVisible, a multi-racial self-help group, will represent women with visible and invisible disabilities at an event for the Right to Food, held as part of London Challenge Poverty Week. It speaks volumes that women in London with disabilities have such experience. They have been hard hit by Covid-19 and have a heartfelt message for politicians. More financial life support for those worst affected needs to be fed through both women’s organisations and mental health service providers. When will the Government get the message?”

Notes

(1) http://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/documents/s120925/1.%20Motions%20-%20October%202020%20with%20Amendments.pdf
(2) https://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/Pages/Display.aspx?IsPreview=true&PostType=Page&IDPost=85f1e52b-fa0a-413f-8242-2bfcdc803463
(3) https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2020/october/government-fails-restore-disabled-people%E2%80%99s-rights

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