For many of us today is a chance to celebrate and indulge the person who helped bring us into the world, our mother. But, with 58% of the UK’s 6.5 million unpaid carers being women, it is a sobering thought that for many the luxury of a break from caring this Mother’s Day, or any other day of the year, is one they may quite simply be unable to take.
With societal norms often portraying women within the role of nurturer in the family unit, it is mooted that as a gender they are naturally inclined to adopt a caring role, ahead of their male counterparts. In a recent study we set out to ascertain whether or not there is a gender bias in caring, with some interesting results.
So, let’s take a look at some of our findings in greater detail – 9 out of 10 female carers expressed that they felt there was an expectation from within families and society that women take on the role of carer. Intriguingly, over 8 out of 10 non-carers also concurred.
Of course it is important to take a moment to recognise male carers who are equally as indispensable in their role. Here’s the thing – the support that unpaid carers provide truly is invaluable to both to their families and society as a whole. We understand that many carers are utterly devoted to those they care for, often working relentlessly to provide their loved ones with care and companionship. However, we also found that a third of carers who responded to the survey have never had any significant time off since they started caring!
That’s why this Mother’s Day we want to celebrate female carers while reiterating our call for more support of family carers – especially in the form of regular respite from caring – and urgent action to address the perceived issue of a gender bias within caring.
If you’d like to read the full findings of our study you can do so here.