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Dublin: 24 °C Tuesday 2 June, 2020

Over a third of women and a quarter of men feel 'downhearted and depressed' due to Covid-19 crisis

The impact of Covid-19 appeared to be worse for women than men in a number of areas.

Customers queue up to enter a supermarket in Dublin.
Customers queue up to enter a supermarket in Dublin.

MORE THAN A third of women and over a quarter of men have reported feeling “downhearted and depressed” due to the Covid-19 emergency, according to research from the Central Statistics Office. 

The CSO’s Social Impact of Covid-19 survey carried out in April found the pandemic has had a greater impact on the wellbeing of women with 38% feeling “downhearted and depressed” compared to 26% of men who reported feeling this way. 

It found that one in four, or 27.6% of women are “extremely” concerned about their health, somebody else’s health, and maintaining social ties, compared to one in five men, or 20%.

The impact on women is further highlighted when set against the backdrop of research into wellbeing over the past decade.

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 17.40.03 Source: CSO

Around 15% of both women and men reported their life satisfaction as low in 2013. This dropped to 9% for women in 2018 and fell to 8.4% for men that same year.

However, the percentage of women now reporting low satisfaction with overall life is more than double the rate in 2013, climbing to 36%. 

Meanwhile, some 22% of men now report a low satisfaction with life, an increase of around 14% since in 2018 but significantly lower than the comparative figure in women. 

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 17.38.09 Source: CSO

The CSO noted a bigger trend in psychological distress and changes in alcohol, tobacco and junk food consumption in women than in men. 

More women than men reported an increase in alcohol consumption, 23.4% compared to 20.9%, while 26% of men reported a decrease in alcohol consumption compared with 9% of women.  

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Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 17.39.24 Source: CSO

More women reported an increased consumption of junk food and sweets when compared with men, 54% compared to 36%. Women were also far less likely to report a reduction in junk food consumption.

Working from home

A huge portion of the population has been adjusting to working from home over the past two months under the Government’s public health guidelines. 

The CSO survey found that 49% of women reported that they would like to return to their place of work after restrictions are lifted, compared to 32% of men.

Men were also more likely to report wanting a mixture of working from home and at their place of work at 61%, compared to 44% of women. 

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