On International Women’s Day Tuesday 8 March, Barbara Keeley, MP for Worsley and Eccles South, supports female carers in Salford:
“On this International Women’s Day I want to pay tribute to the tremendous work, commitment and support that female carers in Salford, and across the country, provide to people every day and night. I want you to know that you are visible and that you are valued.
Millions of people rely on the dedication of their family carer to live a good quality of life. Women are the majority of carers and what they do is vital. While International Women’s Day can bring into focus the remarkable accomplishments of women it also serves as a reminder of the disparity between men and women that still exists.
Overall, women are more likely to take on caring roles than men and of the 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK, 58% are women. Women are also more likely to be ‘sandwich’ carers – caring for young children and elderly parents at the same time.
Caring falls particularly on women in their 40s, 50s and 60s. 1 in 4 women aged 50-64 has caring responsibilities for older or disabled family members. Women are more likely to have given up work or reduced working hours to care, particularly when they are in their 40s-60s. Women aged 45-54 are more than twice as likely than men to have given up work to care and over four times more likely to have reduced their working hours due to caring responsibilities (source: Carers UK).
On International Women’s Day I recognise that there is much more that our country needs to do to ensure that carers and the people that you care for get the support you need.
Government plays a vital part in this as they have the power to bring forward legislation to enable the changes which I know need to happen. I know that we need to improve the identification of carers and the Carer’s Register; increase Carer’s Allowance (especially during this cost of living crisis causing significant financial hardship for many households); ensure that carers are able to remain in work while they are caring and support carers to look after their own health and wellbeing, providing targeted funding for carers breaks and supporting their health and mental health.
I have worked on carers issues and with carers since I was elected in 2005 and I can assure you that through my work in Parliament I will continue to call for these improvements, along with strengthened basic support, rights and recognition for all carers. I send you all my best wishes on this International Women’s Day.”