Women are more worried than men about coronavirus, new data shows

To women wearing protective face masks walk beside the recently widened pavement on Camden High Street in central London on May 11, 2020, as life in Britain continues during the nationwide lockdown due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on May 10 announced a phased plan to ease a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, with schools and shops to begin opening from June 1 -- as long as infection rates stay low. Starting this week, he said the government would be "actively encouraging" people to return to work where they could not do so from home, for example in manufacturing or construction. (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES / AFP) (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)
Women are showing greater concern for the impact of COVID-19 on their lives than men, data suggests. (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)

Women show higher levels of concern about the effect the coronavirus pandemic is having on their lives than men, new data shows.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has posted new figures showing eight in ten women (79%) in Great Britain are worried about how the outbreak has impacted them.

That compares to less than seven in 10 men (66%) who said they were concerned about the effect of COVID-19 on their lives.

However, men also appear to be less optimistic, with three in ten (31%) believing it will take more than a year to get back to normal, while two in ten women (20%) think the same.

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Among the men and women who reported their well-being was affected, seven in ten women (71%) said they were feeling worried about the future, as did six in ten men (59%).

Almost seven in ten women (69%) said they felt stressed or anxious compared with just over half of men (52%).

A total of 2,010 people were selected by the ONS for its research into the coronavirus’s social impact, with 995 individuals responding for the survey, which was carried out from 14 to 17 May 2020. Results are weighted to be representative of Great Britain.

Earlier in May, The Independent reported the pandemic was exacerbating gender pay gaps, with women’s incomes falling by 26% compared to 18% for men, according to research by charity Turn2us.

A graph from the ONS shows how women's and men's concerns about work vary. (ONS)
A graph from the ONS shows how women's and men's concerns about work vary. (ONS)

In April, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres warned the pandemic “is having devastating social and economic consequences for women and girls”.

He said that “across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex”.

Last month, ONS data showed almost two thirds of deaths involving the coronavirus in people aged 20 - 64 in England and Wales were men.

The virus has also proved more fatal for men working in jobs described as low-skilled in England and Wales.

Data from the ONS has previously shown that their rate of 21.4 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 was more than double the average for all working-age men, which was 10 per 100,000.

Other COVID divides appear, with increasing focus on ethnicity.

Preliminary research suggests that patients from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups who are admitted to hospital with COVID-19 are on average a decade younger than white patients.

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