A report found the cost of living crisis is having an impact on women’s health and mental wellbeing.
Scotland’s anti-poverty movement says more needs to be done to tackle the injustice that sees women more likely to be in poverty than men.
The Poverty Alliance has developed a briefing about women’s poverty for MSPs in time for International Women’s Day.
The briefing highlights how women are more likely to be living in poverty in Scotland, and find it harder to escape poverty than men.
The charity’s policy and campaigns manager, Ruth Boyle, said: “It’s completely unjust that poverty is more likely to affect women than men, and it’s particularly unjust that so many lone mothers are trapped in the grip of poverty. Around 91% of lone parents are women, and we know that their incomes and wellbeing are closely tied to child poverty.
“Our recent research with the Scottish Women’s Budget Group found that women are also being disproportionately impacted by the cost-of-living crisis. We were really concerned that so many women said they had simply run out of ways to deal with rising costs – and that was even before we entered the winter months.
“We urgently need the UK Government to protect households from rising costs, and we need the Scottish Government to prioritise gender equality in their anti-poverty work. This means investing in more affordable and flexible childcare, taking action to tackle women’s low pay, and increasing access to free school meals.
“This action is critical to realising women’s equality and meeting Scotland’s child poverty targets”
The research report published by the Poverty Alliance and the Scottish Women’s Budget Group - It’s hard work being poor – found that the cost of living crisis is having an impact on women’s health and mental wellbeing as a result of their pre-existing inequality.
Women with health conditions said they were unable to attend medical appointments because of high travel costs. Others said rising costs were causing increased stress and anxiety.
Stella - a single mother aged 35-44: “This cost-of-living crisis has brought untold pain and suffering on women, especially single parents and children, because of the way it impacts our lives on a daily basis. Not being able to afford the essentials of life can be very stressful and robs women of their dignity and self-worth.”
Idia, a single mother aged 35-44, added: “I spoke to my friend who told me she has been starving and only eats at night. I have started doing that though it didn’t go well with me the first day… I will get used to it.”