Archbishop of Canterbury says women have suffered 'disproportionately' because of Covid-19

(Photo: Lambeth Palace)

The Archbishop of Canterbury has called for women to be included in decision-making and leadership as Britain recovers from the pandemic.

The call came on International Women's Day on Monday, held each year to celebrate the achievements of women but also highlight areas where further action is needed to eliminate remaining inequality.

In a message on Twitter, Archbishop Justin Welby said women had bore the brunt of the pandemic's economic fallout. 

He also noted the increase in domestic violence during the pandemic. 

"The impact of Covid-19 has been borne by women who have disproportionately lost their jobs, taken on unpaid work, and suffered from rising violence," he said.

"As we recover, women must be included in decision-making, and barriers to equal leadership must be eliminated." 

Refuge, the charity that runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, said it received 40,000 calls and feared almost 50 suspected killings took place during the first lockdown. 

The Office for National Statistics said last November that there had been an increase in domestic abuse-related incidents and demand for domestic abuse victim services during the pandemic.