The Aviator Jacket is getting a charge out of a resurrection this AW10, with customers rushing to high road and creator stores to get this must-have thing for the season ahead.Highlighted intensely in the Burberry Campaign and a scene-stealer at their Burberry Cadet Girls show at London Fashion Week, the Top Aviator  Jackets included lavishly shaded, rich lambskin-lining... what's more, when the models sashayed down the catwalk - everybody was snared and everybody observed.Having been re-worked and delivered for mass utilization, these saint coats currently to impeccably praise other key looks of the period; collaborated with the top of the line fitting pattern, the flight coat looks suggestive of it's unique 30's time, making the notable style of Amelia Earhart when combined with high waisted pants and a chiffon pullover...High road top choices, as Topshop and M ought to likewise take action accordingly, truth be told the Topshop Aviator Jacket is presently perhaps the most mentioned design coats for AW10.With the innovative overseer of Burberry, Christopher Bailey pronouncing that he needs "to proceed with the vibe of the pilot assortment" into their next period of plans, the allure of Flying Jackets is set to persevere.It caused me to feel around 10 feet tall.These are similar coats Hollywood put on the map in films with thrill seeker military pilots in provocative cowhide pilot regalia.
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Tory MPs have urged ministers to think again and pay NHS staff more than the controversial proposed 1% pay rise.More backbenchers broke cover on Monday to demand a rethink amid a backlash that has seen anger from unions and warnings of strikes by health workers in England.It came as Downing Street refused to rule out giving NHS staff a one-off Covid bonus for their work battling the pandemic, which has stretched the health service to its limit.Senior Tory MP Rob Halfon called for lower-paid health workers to get more than the 1% the government proposed to the NHS pay review body, while party colleague Andrew Percy suggested either a one-off payment or more recuperation time away from work.HuffPost UK understands that several more Tories are urging ministers behind the scenes to consider other options, including giving frontline staff who worked directly with Covid patients a bigger increase.7 Things The Government Spent Money On Instead Of A Pay Rise For NHS StaffSome Tory MPs are seeing their post bags fill up with constituents’ concerns about the proposed increase, which could end up being a real terms pay cut as the Office for Budget Responsibility predicts inflation to rise to 1.5% this year.Other backbenchers said they had not heard many concerns from voters.But amid mounting pressure on ministers, one Tory MP told HuffPost UK: “Like you – we are just waiting for the U-turn.”Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson refused to rule out a Covid bonus for NHS workers, which could potentially be modelled on Scotland’s £500 one-off payment to health and care staff.Asked twice on Monday to rule out a similar approach in England, they said:  “I’m not going to comment on speculation.“We’ve set out what we think is affordable. It’s now for the pay review body to look at that and look at the other evidence and come forward with their recommendation.”Labour criticised health secretary Matt Hancock for sending junior minister Helen Whately to answer an urgent question on the issue which was directed at him.During the debate Halfon asked: “Whilst absolutely recognising the economic constraints and the £2tn debt that our country owes, will she reconsider and at least propose a larger increase for lower-paid NHS workers?”"Whilst absolutely recognising the economic constraints... will she reconsider and at least propose a larger increase for lower-paid NHS workers?" asks Tory MP Robert Halfon Helen Whately says goverment will look at recommendations from pay review body— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) March 8, 2021Percy, the Tory MP for Brigg and Goole, added to calls for a rethink.He said: “I’m proud to play a small role on the NHS frontline and this last most recent wave has been particularly brutal on nurses, healthcare assistants and, especially this time round, ambulance crews.“So can I urge [Whately] to, during this period of the review body considering it, open up discussions with the Treasury to look at what more we can do for our NHS staff, be that a one-off additional payment, be that other support, just giving people more rest and recuperation time?“We should do everything we can and make every effort to go further than what has so far been recommended.”Asking his urgent question, Labour’s shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said: “I am grateful for the minister [Whately], but where is the secretary of state [Hancock]?“Why isn’t the secretary of state here to defend a budget that puts up tax for hard-working families and cuts pay for hard-working nurses?“The secretary of state has stood at that despatch box repeatedly waxing lyrical, describing NHS staff as heroes, saying they are the very best of us, and now he is cutting nurses’ pay.“Last summer, when asked by Andrew Marr if nurses deserved a real-terms pay rise, he replied: ‘Well, of course, I want to see people properly rewarded, absolutely’ – and yet now he is cutting nurses’ pay.”At a Downing Street coronavirus briefing, Johnson pointed towards the extra cash the NHS had received during the pandemic as he was asked about the 1% pay rise proposal.“I understand, of course that the whole sector has been under massive pressure and that’s why we are investing colossally on top of the £140bn annually that we give to the NHS, an extra £62bn to support the NHS,” he said.“I think is really crucial for the wellbeing of nurses across the country, in addition of course to the 12.8% pay increase that they got [in] the most recent round.”Related...Will The NHS Nurses Pay Row Deflate The Tories’ ‘Vaccine Bounce’?Organiser Of NHS Pay Protest In Manchester Fined £10,000 Under Covid RegulationsMinister Hints At U-Turn On 1% Pay Rise For NHS Staff
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Conservative Party funds have not been used for the refurbishment of Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat, but any “gifts or benefits” will be declared in the future, his press secretary has said.Allegra Stratton denied reports in the Daily Mail that suggested party funds had met a £200,000 bill to refurbish the flat above No.11 where the prime minister lives with his fiancee Carrie Symonds.But she did not deny suggestions that wealthy donors may have contributed to the cost of the refit, saying “all of those donations” would be declared.“All of those donations are declared to and published by the Electoral Commission, or in the House of Commons register, absolutely in line with our requirements by electoral law,” Stratton told reporters.“And gifts and benefits received in a ministerial capacity – this would be for the prime minister. They will always be declared in his transparency returns.”There will also be “chapter and verse” on the details of the Downing Street works in the Cabinet Office annual report, due for publication around summer, she added.But Stratton could not say whether the report would include a list of donations.“It will have the relevant level of information to make it clear what refurbishment and what renovations took place in the last year on Downing Street.”Following nearly 30 minutes of sustained questioning over the issue, Stratton was asked why why the PM cannot pay for his own furniture and wallpaper.She replied: “You’re going to get all of the details concerning the prime minister’s residence above No.11 in the annual report in due course, as would happen every year.”It came after No.10 sources confirmed to PA Media that the government is spending £9m on a White House-style situation room in the bowels of the Cabinet Office, to act as the PM’s control hub during emergencies.Downing Street has also spent more than £2.6m recently on refurbishments to hold televised, American-style media briefings.Responding to the media room refit in No.9, Labour questioned why the PM was spending millions on “vanity projects” while “picking the pockets” of NHS workers, amid growing anger at the government proposing a pay rise for health staff of just 1%.Related...Boris Johnson 'Too Busy' To Take Parental Leave But Top Aide Insists PM Is A 'Feminist'No.10 Clears Up Confusion On School Covid Tests After Minister's MistakeBoris Johnson Defends 1% NHS Pay Rise By Saying Times 'Tough'
Metropolitan police hand keys to French outsourcer Capgemini has won a £600m IT infrastructure deal from the UK's Metropolitan Police to run a service desk, data centres, and services management including the integration of other suppliers.…
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When I was 12 years old, I had to flee my home country in East Africa because of civil war and the threat of ISIS. To escape danger, I had to go on a difficult journey to safety. I travelled through the desert in Libya. I didn’t have enough food and was very thin. I still carry the scars from being shot and beaten. I just kept going, trying to get somewhere safe. Everywhere I went, there were threats from terrorist groups. I had to get far away from danger and make sure I wasn’t caught and sent back or killed.After crossing many countries, I ended up in France, but wanted to get to the UK, where my aunt was. In France, I didn’t know the language, had no friends or family. It was a hard life, almost like being in jail. Every day, I saw people sleeping on the street, with no life and no support. I had spent two years crossing North Africa and I did not want to spend another two years in France in limbo, sleeping rough. But that’s what I did.While in Calais, I was among many children trying to get to the UK. I tried getting on lorries to the UK, which was nearly impossible. Imagine it: police, security, dogs that always find you. The dogs smell you, they bark, the police find you, beat you up and use tear gas. And then they send you back.After many months, thanks to a Calais volunteer, I heard about a process to reunite with my aunt through the EU’s Dublin Regulation. When one woman found out I was 15 and my aunt was in the UK, she said she could take me to a shelter and start the process of reuniting us. I was interviewed, age assessed, had my DNA taken and interviewed again. But many months after this process began, my aunt had to unexpectedly travel to Turkey temporarily. When the Home Office found out she had left London, they said I was not allowed to come to the UK.  I was extremely fortunate to access the Dubs scheme to travel safely to the UK – the very same scheme the government has said they will not continue. I spent the whole next week in my room feeling hopeless. I had waited seven months and after all that time I couldn’t go. Resigned to staying in France, I stopped eating, stopped washing. I remember crying at the photos my friends who had reached Glasgow, Manchester and other places would send me.I heard about another route: the Dubs scheme, which was set up in 2016 for unaccompanied children seeking asylum to travel to the UK. I knew people who had taken this route, but I thought it was for younger children. I thought that because I was nearly 16, I wouldn’t stand a chance, but after two weeks it was confirmed that I could. It was such a relief, like a big weight off my shoulders. The process still took ages, with interviews and travel arrangements, but I was on my way.Finally, I got a plane to Heathrow. My new foster parents met me and took me home to Dorset. I remember how green the countryside was, and falling asleep in the car, exhausted. When we pulled into the driveway, I saw two girls – as I wondered who they were, my foster parents told me they were their daughters. Now they are my sisters and always will be. I don’t live with my foster family now, but they will always be my family. I still talk to them most days, and I am also able to see my aunt regularly, as we live in the same city. Since I arrived in the UK, I have studied hard. Now I am at college doing sports and I want to become a fitness trainer, a lifeguard or a referee. I also campaign for refugees’ rights with the charity Safe Passage International. A lot of children that I met on my journey are in that situation, still on the streets, still waiting. I was extremely fortunate to access the Dubs scheme to travel safely to the UK – the very same scheme the government has said they will not continue. With Brexit, the UK has left the EU’s Dublin Regulation, which also makes it much harder for children like me to reunite with their families. This makes me feel sad, to think of all those children, homeless with no other option. I think of a friend who I met in Calais; we were there together for seven month and both started the process under the Dubs scheme, but he wasn’t successful. His life is very different to mine. He lives on the street and sometimes doesn’t have food to eat. Now he, and so many like him, may never be able to come here. If I hadn’t been successful in reaching the UK, I would have ended up going camp to camp, with no documents and no hope. I could have ended up on the streets without support. A lot of children that I met on my journey are in that situation, still on the streets, still waiting. With the challenges I went through and all the things I experienced, sometimes I can’t believe I’m alive. When I remember the people I saw who died, remember being shot in Libya, it all feels so surreal. I have friends who haven’t been as lucky as me. So when I look at people here and reflect on my life – leaving my country, my journey through Libya, my time in Calais – I think it is important that people know what others have been through just to be here. I want people to hear my story and realise how lucky they are. I am proud of how far I have come, and of where I am today. I didn’t choose these experiences, they happened to me, but everything I have been through has made me stronger. I had no choice, no option but now here I am. I want to get on with my life. Every child fleeing war or persecution should have the same opportunities that I have, and the same right to safety.Muste is a former unaccompanied child refugee, and a campaigner with Safe Passage InternationalHave a compelling personal story you want to tell? Find out what we’re looking for here, and pitch us on [email protected] from HuffPost UK PersonalI Tracked Down The Girls Who Bullied Me As A Kid. Here's What They Had To SayPeople Like Me Rely On The Universal Credit Uplift. Don’t Take It Away From UsI’m A Paramedic. I’ve Seen The Mental Health Toll This Pandemic Is Taking On Us All
Women have been hardest hit by the socioeconomic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, forced out of the workforce at four times the rate of men.  Over two thirds of the additional responsibilities generated by Covid, such as homeschooling, have been absorbed by women, according to a report by the London School of Economics, and there are growing concerns that women are being targeted for furlough or redundancy for this reason.In other cases, women are leaving the workforce voluntarily – on paper, at least – but in reality, many have no other choice. “I think it’s very clear that Covid has entrenched already enormous inequalities,” says Sophie Walker, founding leader of the Women’s Equality Party, who’s  recently joined law firm McAllister Olivarius as chief strategy officer.  “It has been really painful to watch the progression of the pandemic, not just because there has been such immediate pain and illness and loss of life, but because there has been so little understanding of how to respond to an event that has exposed our social infrastructure as being severely lacking.”Walker says governments have consistently overlooked the unpaid work disproportionately completed by women – such as childcare and care of elderly relatives – and this has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Though schools are returning this week, this won’t end the problem if students are sent home and told to self-isolate in the rates we saw in autumn. “It’s astonishing to me that a government response to a pandemic can be to go out in a hard hat and start talking about construction, when the NHS is on its knees, schools are closing, nurseries are closing and women in their thousands are being pushed into poverty and financial despair,” she says.We can’t change societal views about the roles of women overnight. But we can fight back against those societal views, if we think they’re contributing to discrimination in the workplace. Here are five things to look out for:Women’s wages have been cut Almost three quarters (72%) of mothers have had to work fewer hours because of childcare issues, according to a survey by Pregnant then Screwed.This will have had a direct impact of women’s wages, says Walker, as women are “more likely to be on precarious work contracts and zero hours contracts”, where they get paid for the hours they complete.  All employees have the right to request flexible working, says gender discrimination lawyer Kelsey Murrell, so remember this if you’re unable to fit your usual tasks into set hours.“Your employer isn’t obliged to grant that request, but they are legally obliged to deal with your request reasonably,” she says. “There might be circumstances where it doesn’t make sense  – a job in manufacturing, for example, where you really do need to be working certain hours – but if there isn’t a good reason why there can’t be that flexibility, it could well be unreasonable for them to deny it.”Nor should the mental health impact of shifting your day and combining it with unpaid work should be underestimated. “I’m hearing from women who are working 16 to 18 hour days to do all the childcare first, then try to do all of the work at the end of the day and into the middle of the night,” says Walker. “That just can’t compare to men, husbands and partners, who are going into another room, shutting the door and working as normal.”Women are being targeted for redundancy Among working mothers, 15% have been made redundant or believe they will be made redundant in the next six months. Almost half (46%) of those who’ve faced redundancy believe a lack of childcare may have contributed to them being selected. “One thing we’ve seen in both the US and the UK is employers using redundancies and Covid as their cover to clean house,” says Murrell.“There’s no question that a lot of businesses absolutely do have to make some employees redundant – but the furlough scheme is still going, so there is a query around whether they really have to right now.”Look for patterns, she suggests. Who is being made redundant? Is it mostly women? Is it mostly women who are also mothers? Is one protected class being targeted more than others?“It’s not really enough for a discrimination claim that you are a woman and someone else isn’t and you were selected for redundancy and they weren’t,” adds Murrell. “You do need some other evidence.”Keeping a log of potential discrimination, ranging from offensive comments to being overlooked for opportunities, will strengthen your case.“It can be a combination of a lot of little things,” says Murrell. “And I don’t want to call them little, because they’re obviously enormously hurtful and cumulative.”As uncomfortable as it may feel, your first step if you suspect discrimination is to file an internal grievance. This is the case for any claim that may potentially end up at an employment tribunal.“You can be penalised and your damages can be reduced [if you don’t raise internally], because the idea is that the courts want to keep as many claims out of court that don’t need to be in court as possible,” explains Murrell. After filing an internal grievance, you’ll need to file a claim with Acas, the administrative body that deals with work-based claims, within three months. Ascas will then process this, before your claim is brought to an employment tribunal. The system is designed to be used without a lawyer, says Murrell, but seeking legal advice might help you feel more at ease. Women are being targeted for furlough  There are two big problems with the furlough scheme: being unfairly targeted for furlough by employers, and asking to be furloughed but being denied it. Over half (65%) of mothers who have been furloughed say a lack of childcare was the reason, yet separate research shows 70% of working mothers who asked to be furloughed for childcare reasons have been refused. Both show a lack of understanding of the complexities of being a working parent.“Unfortunately there’s not a lot that you can do if you’ve been denied furlough, because you have a right to request furlough, but you don’t have an absolute right to demand it,” says Murrell. “But on the flip-side we’ve seen companies make assumptions about women and what their performance is going to be like before even asking them. That is a discriminatory issue.”Again, she advises looking for patterns among the furloughed staff: are they  disproportionately women, mothers or both? Also note down any seemingly off-the-cuff comments that might suggest women were targeted.“A lot of women experience gaslighting in the workplace, but they also downplay their own experiences, they don’t want to be seen as hysterical or overreacting to things,” says Murrell. “Because we’re often tone-policed in the workplace, I think we’re hyper-vigilant about not overreacting.”Shake off that internalised patriarchy, don’t worry about being a “drama queen” and raise a grievance (as instructed above) if something doesn’t feel right. Another thing to remember, is that employers shouldn’t be shifting you on to the furlough scheme just because you’re due to go on maternity leave. “HMRC has been very clear they will be carrying out audits and if a company was required to pay someone for their maternity leave, then they’re not allowed to put them on furlough to save money,” says Murrell. “It would be an abuse of not only that woman’s rights, but the government furlough scheme.”Women are missing out on meetings We might joke that we’re all in too many meetings, but if women are taking on disproportionate childcare and home responsibilities, they risk losing their voice at the table. Companies should make reasonable adjustments to working conditions, such as the times of meetings, if there’s a particular time of day that’s harder for the parents or carers. “One of the implied duties that every employer owes an employee is a mutual duty of trust and confidence,” says Murrell.  “If we’re talking about things like asking for flexibility around when meetings take place... if an employer is reacting unreasonably, it may be that they’ve breached that duty and it could be that you’ve got a legal claim there.”Problems such being excluded from meetings might be a form of “indirect discrimination”. “If a company has a policy that on the face of it is not discriminatory and it applies to everybody, but it disproportionately affects a protected class, then you may have an indirect discrimination claim,” she adds. “You can raise that with your employer, because an employer may not even be recognising it.” Women are still being harassed Women are still experiencing workplace sexual harassment during the pandemic. A survey from Rights Of Women found 42% of women experiencing sexual harassment at work have experienced some to all of the harassment online. Almost a quarter (23%) of women who have experienced sexual harassment reported an increase or escalation whilst working from home.The pandemic has caused the nature of sexual harassment to change, says Murrell, and some workers may be less inclined to report it.“One thing I see a lot is harassers trying to send harassing messages over personal numbers or emails instead of work channels, thinking that  will protect them, but it doesn’t,” she says.“The thing that makes me worry, is that in the current economic climate women don’t feel as empowered to assert those rights, they don’t want to rock the boat, because they want to hold onto that job.” Murrell urges women to continue to report harassment and to do so immediately, rather than wait until the “pandemic is over”. Again, there’s a three-month time limit – so waiting may mean perpetrators go unchallenged. READ MORE:Chinese Divorce Court Awards Wife £5,000 For HouseworkCharity Loses Case Arguing Covid Scheme Discriminated Against Working MothersBAME Women Hardest Hit By Financial Impact Of CoronavirusGovernment Withdraws Sexist Covid 'Stay Home' Advert After CriticismOpinion: Women Have Been Hit Harder By Covid. Now This Budget Forgets Them Altogether'I'm Not Here For The Warm and Fuzzies': The UK Stars Of Disability TikTokWe Are Single Parents In A Pandemic. We're Coping But Don't Forget Us
“I’ve never worked in those kind of conditions. It was like fire fighting. You had young people, as well as elderly people, who were just fighting for their lives.”As a respiratory specialist, Dr Shumonta Quaderi’s life was turned upside down when Covid-19 tore through the UK last spring. The 37-year-old, from London, was worried about the virus “right from the beginning”. Beds in ICU were filling up, while ventilators were running critically low. “We were totally inundated with numbers, but this was a completely new thing for us,” she says. “We had no idea what we were dealing with. Yes, the virus attacked the lungs, but it was attacking other parts of the body as well. We were all learning together, the best way to manage and treat it.”To make matters more complicated, Dr Quaderi was also four months pregnant, with her first child. Pregnant women had been advised not to do frontline work, yet despite support from her hospital, Dr Quaderi decided to go against the advice. She had adequate PPE – though reports of “extreme shortages” elsewhere in the country were rife – and felt it was her duty to continue. “I felt really strongly and passionately about wanting to work,” she says. “It was my particular specialty, and my profession, so it would feel weird to sit back.”  Women like Dr Quaderi have been working throughout the pandemic in the very jobs that have kept the nation functioning. Many are doing so while shouldering society’s unpaid work, too – childcare, looking after elderly relatives, and housework – which still disproportionately falls to women. As the UN has said: "Women stand at the front lines of the Covid-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organisers and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic. The crisis has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry.”An exclusive Savanta ComRes poll* for HuffPost UK reveals women are doing more childcare, cooking and household work than before the pandemic. For those working from home, any time they may have saved from physically travelling to and from work has been filled with unpaid, domestic labour.And this shift in lifestyle is negatively impacting women’s mental health.Nearly half (47%) of the women surveyed say their mental health has declined. Two-thirds (63%) feel more anxious, while 55% feel more challenged and 53% feel more limited. Yet these experiences are seldom acknowledged. Worryingly, almost a third (32%) of women now feel less heard than they were previously. As the UK’s death toll surpasses 124,000 – the highest per capita of any country in the world – many are dealing with these life-altering challenges amid grief.  Professor Shani Orgad, a sociologist at the London School of Economics, says that while she’s not surprised by the findings, she is “deeply disappointed and alarmed by them”.  When people say the pandemic has set back the cause of gender equality ‘to the 1950s’ we should all take this very, very seriously.Professor Shani Orgad, LSE“Crises like the pandemic reveal and exacerbate existing social and economic inequalities. So the pandemic has deepened a crisis of care and gender and racial inequalities that existed before,” Professor Orgad tells HuffPost UK.“There has been mounting evidence – already before the pandemic – showing that women (more than men), especially those aged 35 to 49 with caring responsibilities for both children and elderly parents, suffer from stress and mental health problems as a result of the current crisis in social care.“Women were therefore the obvious ‘shock absorbers’ of the pandemic.”For Amahra Spence, a 29-year-old business owner from Birmingham, it’s felt “impossible” to work from home while homeschooling a four-year-old and raising a newborn. “I’ll have a meeting at 8am while I’m feeding one. Then the other one’s setting up his laptop for a class at 9am. Then I’ll go into another meeting, and all the while I’ve got my baby on my lap,” she says.“I am so tired. I am exhausted. It’s really hard.”Spence doesn’t think women have been valued enough for this juggling act and was saddened to hear of companies targeting working mothers for redundancy or furlough.According to research by the campaign group Pregnant then Screwed, almost half (46%) of working mothers made redundant believe a lack of childcare provision played a role in their redundancy. Meanwhile, 65% of mothers who have been furloughed say a lack of childcare was the reason. “There is mounting evidence showing that women have suffered huge financial penalties largely because of caring responsibilities,” says Professor Orgad.“Women are losing their jobs at four times the rate of men; women especially in the lowest socioeconomic groups were more likely to be furloughed, women have been forced to cut their working hours and scale back their careers,” she says. “So, when people say the pandemic has set back the cause of gender equality ‘to the 1950s’ we should all take this very, very seriously.” They say it takes a village to raise a child and I’ve realised with the absence of my village, how true that is.Amahra Spence, 29, BirminghamSpence is relieved that schools are finally reopening. In her view, homeschooling is something that’s become worryingly “trivialised” over the past year.“People are joking and laughing [but] I’m speaking with other parents, friends of mine, and everybody is so stretched and emotionally broken,” she says.She gave birth to her second child in June 2020 – “slap bang in the middle of the pandemic”. Being heavily pregnant during the first wave was “just really nerve-wracking and anxiety-inducing”, she says, not least because she had to attend appointments alone while hospitals limited visitor numbers due to Covid.Spence was terrified of giving birth alone, too, after seeing heartbreaking “lines of fathers outside” on her visits.In the end, she entered active labour five minutes after arriving at the hospital, so her partner was allowed in for the remainder of her fast, one-hour birth. However, the challenges continued for the couple. Their son was born with complex health needs, meaning they had to navigate a series of hospital appointments amid ongoing Covid restrictions. It’s made the lack of contact time with friends and family all the more difficult. “They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I’ve really realised with the absence of my village, how true that is,” says Spence. “I’ve found it terrifying. I’ve found it really, really scary and I’ve found it really, really sad.” Others have struggled, too. More than half of the women we surveyed (51%) said they are “less happy” than they were before the pandemic. This increases to 54% among parents. Money worries factor into this. While 24% of women said the pandemic has had a positive impact on their household finances, 32% reported a negative effect. The rest remain unchanged.Spence, who runs a social justice arts organisation, says her “finances have been stretched to the brink” this year. “I thought that we might have to close the business last year,” she adds. “Thankfully we got some emergency grants that kept us afloat.”  You just get on with it, protect yourself as best you can.Monica Sullery, 58, NottinghamFor Monica Sulley, a 58-year-old bus driver from Nottingham, finances have also been tricky. When bus drivers test positive for Covid or are told to self-isolate via Test and Trace, they receive statutory sick pay, which is set at £95.85 per week. “You don’t get paid for the first three days, so the first week off you’ve lost about £40,” she says. “And you can’t live on that.” Sulley worked as a Tesco delivery driver during the summer, but returned to bus driving – a job she’d previously done for 15 years – in October. She had missed bus work and wanted to get back, despite the risks – she’d read of bus drivers dying from Covid and personally knew a driver who’d died in Nottingham.“If I’m honest, I didn’t really think about it,” she says of the danger. “You know, it’s one of those things, if you do think about it you’re gonna go mad. You’re not gonna be able to work. So you just get on with it, protect yourself as best you can.”The hardest part of the job has been dealing with non-compliant passengers, who refuse to wear face masks or follow social distancing measures on the bus. But the overwhelming majority of the public have been grateful for the continued service, she says.One regular passenger, an elderly man, seemed confused by the new rules, so Sulley bought him a pack of face masks. “You just help people where you can,” she says. “We’re in a strange situation.”During her toughest week on shift, around 30 staff members were off work self-isolating. Sulley says the government has supported bus companies financially, but this help has not extended down to drivers. Four in 10 women (40%) surveyed by HuffPost said they didn’t feel government support for women had changed during the pandemic, despite the challenges  faced. Almost a third (29%) said they felt less supported by the government than they had previously, while 20% felt less supported by their employer. While passenger numbers are down on the bus network, work was busier than ever when Sulley was driving for Tesco in June, when there was an unprecedented number of bookings. “It was hard work. I mean, you could be moving three tons of groceries by hand a day quite easily. Great for your figure!” she laughs. “But it was busy. People weren’t wanting to go out and we had a lot of people who were shielding. It wasn’t unusual to be doing 30 deliveries a day.” I was going to work with all these people and in my mind there was a good chance I could catch Covid and bring it home.Deborah Stevens, 59, HertfordshireMany others continued shopping in-person, coming into close contact with supermarket staff like Deborah Stevens, who has worked on the check-outs and shop floor in Tesco for 30 years. The 59-year-old, from Hertfordshire, has three grown-up children, including a daughter, 20, who is living at home with Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS) and Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), meaning she needs to shield. The government’s policy dictates that people living with shielders must still go to work if they can’t work from home. It leaves Stevens constantly worrying about catching Covid at work, then infecting her vulnerable daughter. “I knew I had to cope with it though, because I had to work financially,” she says. Work was particularly tough early in the pandemic, when some customers still acted as though the virus was “like flu” and lunged forwards to grab products off the shelf.“It was like every person coming towards you was going to hurt you,” Stevens recalls. “I worried, extremely – it was all on my shoulders. I was going to work in this place with all these people and in my mind there was a good chance I could catch it and bring it home. It was very, very hard. I was constantly jumping out of people’s way. I was having heart palpitations a lot of the time.” She made the decision to wear a face mask at work long before they were made mandatory by the government. She says this made her a “target” in some respects, with customers who thought she was being a “drama queen”. “I felt torn, I wanted to take it off because of the response, but I had to keep it on because of my family,” she says. Things got easier as face masks rules were introduced and the public started to take the virus seriously. Thankfully, Stevens’ family has avoided falling ill.Dr Nisreen Alwan, who has juggled roles as an associate professor in public health at the University of Southampton and working as a hospital consultant, while single-handedly caring for three children, has not been so fortunate.The 46-year-old caught coronavirus early on in March 2020 and says she has never fully recovered. Her personal experience, coupled with her research into public health, has led to her becoming a leading voice on long Covid, raising awareness around the globe.Dr Alwan is also known for her research on the health and wellbeing of women and children, and speaks out about the importance of a safe return to school. Talking publicly about such issues has led her to face abuse on social media. Globally, women are 27 times more likely to be harassed online, according to the online abuse charity Glitch. “The attacks are usually very superficial and thoughtless, and with time you learn how to deal with them,” she says. “But sometimes it can be quite aggressive or passive aggressive.”Contracting Covid as a single parent of three children aged seven, 13 and 17  was anxiety-inducing. Lockdown restrictions meant she was unable to access additional support, at a point when we still didn’t know much about the virus. “It was really me and my children trying to manage the situation,” she says. What was already a demanding career ramped up as she struggled to recover – Dr Alwan is doing her day job, while also keeping up to date with the latest science and public health research in regards to the virus and communicating it to the general public. “I constantly feel I’m not on top of anything,” she says. “There aren’t enough hours in the day.” I would describe it as living at work, rather than working at home. It’s difficult to stop.Dr Nisreen Alwan, 46, SouthamptonSeveral of the women who spoke to HuffPost UK said their working days have become markedly longer than pre-pandemic.Dr Alwan crammed her interview into a Monday lunch break, after submitting a body of work at 9pm the night before. “I would describe it as living at work, rather than working at home. It’s difficult to stop,” she says.The past year has been “a particularly difficult period” physically and mentally, she adds – a sentiment echoed by 56-year-old Carmen De Pablo, a languages teacher who is assistant head of inclusion at a secondary school in Plymouth.De Pablo was told to shield last March as she has chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) – a type of cancer affecting the white blood cells that develops slowly over time.  Shielding has changed her life “immensely,” says De Pablo, who lives with her husband and daughter. “It’s been very challenging, I must say. During the first lockdown I found it really difficult to not feel isolated from school.”While De Pablo says her “first class” colleagues have been incredibly supportive while she’s been working from home, she’s been wracked with feelings of guilt about not being there in person to help out. She sometimes feels like a fraud, she says, because health-wise she feels fine. In her work, she has struggled with getting used to doing everything online and not being able to have quick catchups with colleagues – there is a constant worry in the back of her mind that she’s emailing too much.A typical day starts early and involves planning and posting two or three lessons on Google Classroom, ensuring children have access to them and that they’re logging in – and out. In school everything is a rush, having a full break is unheard of. I’ve found it is the same here.Carmen De Pablo, 56, PlymouthThere are meetings with her team, leadership and parents, and sometimes the police, as her role includes safeguarding children and vulnerable families. She’ll eat dinner between 6-7pm, and try to get some “me time”, before working through the evening until 10pm. “And then that’s it, the following day starts.”“When we’re in school everything is a rush… and having a full break is unheard of,” she says. “I’ve found it is the same here, I’m working longer hours than if I’m in school.” Knowing she’s helping pupils through a challenging time is what’s kept her going . “Interactions with the children are priceless,” she says. For Amahra Spence, in Birmingham, watching her own children flourish has also been a key motivator. Monica Sulley, meanwhile, credits her husband, Pete, and their family with getting her through the tougher days. On top of her work as a delivery and bus driver this past year, she’s also a Scout leader, union branch chair, mother to two, stepmother to one and grandmother to eight. “Don’t ask me how many nieces and nephews I’ve got, because I really don’t know,” she jokes. “Somebody said: ‘If you want something doing, give it to a busy woman.’ It’s actually quite true.” For Dr Alwan in Southampton, connecting and supporting long Covid sufferers across the country and world has given her a sense of purpose through her own illness. She was featured in the BBC’s 100 Women of 2020 for her work during the pandemic, which she calls a “great honour”. “That was a nice moment for me, because it just reflects the range of power, strength, and innovation that women can bring,” she says of the list.Work at Tesco has been reaffirming for Deborah Stevens, too. “Women are much stronger than they believe,” she says. “The more they try, the more they can achieve. They’ve got through everything else, they will get through this.” Dr Quaderi is now on maternity leave and her baby is almost seven months old. She’ll forever be proud of the work she completed while pregnant on ICU: “It was amazing to be able to be a part of it and help those that we could.” Across healthcare, housing, employment and education, the pandemic has laid bare the many social, racial and gender-based inequalities underpinning life in the UK, but Professor Orgad’s hope is that it will trigger a profound rethinking about the value that society ascribes to different types of work.“Perhaps this pandemic will serve as a wake-up call, to alert us and our politicians to the urgent need to value – not only by clapping and expressing gratitude – the people who do work that has been rightly called ‘key’ and ‘essential’, and, crucially, to value the largely unpaid invisible work in the home that is performed disproportionately by women,” she says. In many ways, it’s been a historical year for women. But you shouldn’t be surprised by any of the stories you’ve heard. “Women are, once again, the heroines of the world,” says Spence. “Women are inherently resilient. We’re survivors, and we will always make something work.” *On behalf of HuffPost UK, Savanta ComRes interviewed 2,398 UK women aged 18+ online from February 26 to March 1. Data were weighted to be representative of all UK women by age and region. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.Related...Yes, Coronavirus Is A War. And Women Are On The Front Lline'I Lock Myself In The Loo' – The Claustrophobia Of Parenting Right NowOpinion: The Gender Pay Gap Is About To Get A Lot Worse'No One Is Protecting Us': Bus Drivers On Front Line Slam Lack Of Coronavirus PrecautionsWe Are Single Parents In A Pandemic. We're Coping But Don't Forget UsOpinion: Lockdown Was Fatal For Women And Girls. 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