BAME Women: Covid-19

Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons on 23rd September 2020.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

What steps the Government have taken to protect women in BAME communities from the disproportionate effect of covid-19 identified by Public Health England.

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Exchequer Secretary

The Government have taken a number of steps to protect all those who may be disproportionately affected by covid-19 to reduce the spread of the virus. This includes targeted testing of occupations and groups at higher risk, including ethnic minority women. We have also translated the latest information into multiple languages in accessible formats to help to ensure that our public health communications reach all communities across the country.

Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

Women from black and minority ethnic backgrounds are strongly represented in the workforce in our care system, so will the Minister have a strong focus on keeping care workers safe from covid, with a particular emphasis on the higher risk faced by women from black and minority ethnic communities in those jobs?

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Exchequer Secretary

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right: there are very many BME workers in the social care sector and they must be properly supported. That is why in June, the Department of Health and Social Care published a covid-19 adult social care workforce risk reduction framework to help to manage specific risks to staff, including risk by ethnicity. We are also providing financial support to the Race Equality Foundation to provide additional services to BME communities with dementia during the covid-19 pandemic.