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30 Apr 2021 Campaigns

Loss of work, isolation and worry

Read our new report about the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on young women

A group of young women

Report- Loss of work, isolation and worry – 29 April 2021

The Working Women’s Centre SA has launched a new report: Loss of work, isolation and worry: the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on young women. The report finds that young women have been hit by loss of work, increased pressure at work and home and the mental health impacts of COVID-19.

Issues including insecure work, economy inequality and violence against women, which were exacerbated by COVID-19, position young women as the most in need of support through gender responsive COVID-19 recovery plans.

We are optimistic that the COVID-19 recovery is an opportunity for real and affective change. Our report emphasises that the creation of secure jobs in feminised sectors will improve employment for women and improve the economy through the COVID-19 recovery.


Through a survey of 293 women under 30 in South Australia, we found that since the pandemic hit:

  • 44% of survey respondents felt more discouraged about the prospect of finding work
  • 30% became more afraid of losing their job
  • 40% had concerns about contracting COVID-19 because of work
  • 48% said they were very worried or anxious about money
  • 71% had become more anxious, sad or depressed
  • Over 1 in 5 had lost their job
  • Over a quarter had hours or pay reduced

The report is a unique snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 specifically on young women in SA, looking at the combined impact of age and gender on these women’s shared experiences of the pandemic.


Our recommendations include:

  1. Investment into the creation of secure jobs for women through investment in feminised sectors and a commitment to minimum job security requirements
  2. The funding of a program of dedicated apprenticeships or traineeships for women
  3. The introduction of gender responsive budgeting
  4. A new mechanism for young women to be heard at a policy making level

Please find the full report here. 

For media enquiries, or to found out how you can support the recommendations, please contact Maddie at

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