Amplifying the voice of Diverse Women in Wales.
With funding from the Tudor Trust WCF in partnership with Haayat Women Trust and the Henna Foundation commissioned Mela Cymu consultants to carry out a research on the needs of diverse women in Wales.
Taking action with BAME women in Wales.
The aim of the research was to ensure that Welsh Government understands and acts upon the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on BAME women in South Wales.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic Women Connect First continued to listen to the needs of BAME women and deliver essential specialist services in Cardiff. We have an expert and first-hand understanding of the experiences of ethnically diverse women that we wanted to collate, analyse and document.
We want the experiences and needs of BAME women to be at the centre of policy and practice in Wales. The Welsh Government have recently committed to a new 10 year Wales Race Equality Action Plan and it is essential that this includes actions to rebuild a more equal Wales for our women.
The consultants worked for over six months to deliver a policy and research project. They produced a report on the inequalities experienced by Ethnically Diverse women in Wales learning from our service users and partner organisations. We delivered a policy and influencing plan to ensure the Welsh Government takes action.
The unequal impact on BAME women
The coronavirus pandemic is deepening existing inequalities experience by ethnically diverse women in Wales. Our women are over-represented in low-paid, front line, and gig economy employment (as are close family members). This has meant that Ethnically Diverse women have been put at greater risk on the frontline as carers, cleaners and health care workers or via family members who are on the frontline. Our women have also faced discrimination within the workplace and have been disproportionately impacted by the lack of financial support packages for gig economy workers. Black and Ethnic Minority women are taking on additional unpaid care responsibilities which will hold back their careers.. As the lockdown is eased women are reaching out for specialist support services to seek refuge from domestic abuse, recover from sexual violence and deal with mental health issues. The hostile environment embedded within immigration policies, although eased in some policy areas, continues to restrict access to services.
Rising levels of socio-economic disadvantage and the first signs that we are entering a recession are starting to impact on the lives of Black and Ethnic Minority women and their families in Wales. Black and Ethnic Minority women experience intersecting and multiple forms of discrimination and disadvantage that entrenches inequality. Black and Ethnic Minority women in Wales often live in multiple occupancy and low quality housing, building barriers to social distancing.