Brexit is going to screw over women. To be fair, it’s going to screw us all, but let’s focus on women for a while.
According to a headline in today’s Telegraph, “women will have to give up work to look after parents unless EU care workers are given priority after Brexit”. This is in response to a Department of Health dossier which warns of that a failure to meet social care needs will lead to “a decrease in labour market participation levels, especially among women, as greater numbers undertake informal care”.
Whether we like it or not, this may well happen. Women have been pointing out for decades that we are not all born with a nappy wipe in one hand, a sick bucket in the other, yet the majority of unpaid care work is still performed by us. One day we might get beyond chicken-and-egg debates about what came first – the low wages that led us spending more time in the home, the time spent in the home that led to us being offered lower wages – but that day is not today. For the time being, this burden is ours and it’s likely to get heavier once Britain has left the EU.