Caring: Women take leading role

Caring for a disabled loved one must be one of the most challenging tasks there is, and there are in excess of 6.5 million carers in the UK.

But did readers know that six out of 10 carers are women? Why are there so many more female than male carers?

I work for the charity Revitalise, which provides respite holidays for disabled people and carers, and we did some research to find out.

In our survey we found that eight out of 10 female carers thought that women felt pressured into the role of carer on account of their gender. Nine out of 10 felt there was an expectation in families and society that women take on the role. But eight out of 10 women and nine out of 10 men agreed that men are just as good at caring as women. So what is going on?

We think there is a widely-held view that caring is somehow ‘women’s work’.

Well, there are around 2.65 million male carers in the UK who would strongly disagree. So isn’t it high time we got rid of such stereotypes?

If women are feeling pressured into giving up their careers to become carers solely because of their gender, then we think that is quite wrong.

At Revitalise we think much more needs to be done to support unpaid family carers across the board, and that includes tackling this perceived issue of gender bias.

For more information call 0303 303 0145 or visit www.revitalise.org.uk.

Colin Brook,