- New City Hall analysis shows women disproportionately affected by employment issues, made worse by the pandemic
- Figures show a large increase in domestic abuse during lockdown
- Sadiq is working with London and global leaders to tackle gender-based inequality as part of the capital’s Covid recovery
Women in London are more likely than men to be unemployed or economically inactive, and were more likely to have had their working hours reduced or been placed on furlough earlier in the pandemic, according to new analysis publicised today – on International Women’s Day – by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
City Hall analysis of ONS data shows that:
- The unemployment rate for women in London is currently higher than for men. In London, female unemployment was 7.2 per cent in the three months to December, compared to 6.7 per cent for men.
- Unemployment among women in London has increased 3.5 percentage points over the last year, compared to 2 percentage points for men – suggesting that more women who were previously on furlough have subsequently lost their jobs and become unemployed than men.
- Economic inactivity is more prevalent among women than men, both in London and nationally. The female economic inactivity rate is 23.2 per cent in London compared with 24.5 per cent across the entire UK, while the male rate is 16.1 per cent in the capital compared with 17.3 cent nationally.
The figures published today follow research commissioned by Sadiq last year which revealed that women have experienced disproportionate economic, social and psychological impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Mothers were 47 per cent more likely than fathers to have lost their jobs or resigned from their jobs, and 14 per cent more likely to have been furloughed. 
There has also been a very concerning increase in domestic abuse over the last year, with calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline increasing by 49 per cent in the three weeks after the first lockdown on 23 March, and the Metropolitan Police recorded a 6 per cent increase in domestic abuse offences between March 2020 to December 2020 – compared to the same period in 2019. In 2020 as a whole more than 94,500 domestic abuse offences were recorded. 
Since 2016, the Mayor has invested a record £62.7m in tackling all violence against women and girls, which is working to save lives, reduce waiting lists and keep doors open for vital specialist support services for victims. City Hall has also invested £2.5m in innovative programmes focused on addressing the behaviour of perpetrators of abuse.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “As a proud feminist, I will never stop striving to improve the lives of women and girls in London. The analysis I have published today exposes the unacceptable gender inequalities in our city that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
“I am committed to ensuring our city’s recovery from this pandemic works for women. Through my London Recovery Board we will address the pattern of rising unemployment and economic inequalities, and ensure our city is a safe place where all women can thrive.”
NTIA (2021). Sadiq commits to a pandemic recovery that works for women – Night Time Industries Association. [online] Ntia.co.uk. Available at: https://www.ntia.co.uk/sadiq-commits-to-a-pandemic-recovery-that-works-for-women/ [Accessed 10 Mar. 2021].