Siobhán Harding, Women’s Support Network Policy Worker, has completed a series of 20 focus group sessions across Northern Ireland looking at the impact of the Cost of Living Crisis on women and has spoken to almost 250 women.
The focus groups discussed the impact of Cost of Living increases on women’s household budgets, on their ability to socialise, on their mental/physical health, on their children and what women feel would help them to cope with the increases. In addition, each woman who took part completed a questionnaire which has given some further data around these issues.
There is very rich evidence resulting from both the focus groups and the questionnaires. Much of it is extremely concerning around the scale and impact of this Crisis on women, children and communities.
Siobhán has started work to write up the results from the research work. She will be working with Dr Ciara Fitzpatrick and Dr Alexandra Chapman from Ulster University to write up the full research paper. It is hoped that the final report will be published in June 2023. Siobhán will work to ensure that the voices of women are front and centre in this report and use their views and experiences to make recommendations for change.