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Inequalities and discrimination

7pm - Wednesday 5 May (watch again below)


The devastating differential impact of Covid and the pandemic on BAME people came as a shock but not really a surprise. Even prior to the pandemic there was strong evidence that racism, unequal education, job and economic opportunities, housing and access to healthcare affected the health of people in BAME communities unequally. The Covid pandemic and the role of key workers who carried on working, who could not work at home, and who kept the transport, health, and other services going, compounded all of these issues for BAME people and were reflected in the illness and death rate. 

The impact of Covid has fallen differentially on women in many important ways. Our inquiry asks: was there any serious appraisal of risk for sections of our society who experience inequalities and discrimination? What has the outcome been and how has the Government responded?

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‘We now recognise that different ethnic groups suffer from health disadvantage, not only because of deprivation but ... because of racism and discrimination, and that is another form of health inequalities … [Covid inequalities] overlap considerably with causes of inequalities in health more generally … Half of care workers do not earn a living age.’                                 

Professor Sir Michael Marmot

‘COVID-19 could reverse the limited progress that has been made on gender equality and women's rights”.                                UN Secretary-General António Guterres


‘There is an association between ... some ethnic groups and the likelihood of testing positive and dying ...

[Diagnoses per 100,000] were highest in Black ethnic groups (486 in female; 649 in males) and

lowest …in White ethnic groups (220 in females; 224 in male)’

Professor Kevin Fenton

In order to answer these questions and to learn lessons, in this session we are listening to a researcher on the differential impact of Covid on the BAME health workers and we will hear testimony about the experience of BAME frontline staff, migrants and on women. Evidence is also available from the work done by Independent SAGE, the Fenton Review and health unions.


Michael Mansfield QC (chair), Professor Neena Modi, Dr. Tolullah Oni, Dr. Jacky Davis
Lorna Hackett Barrister (Counsel to the Inquiry)


Mary-Ann Stephenson | Director, Women's Budget Group

Kamlesh Khunti | Professor of Primary Care Diabetes & Vascular Medicine, University of Leicester, member of government advisory body SAGE, Chair of SAGE Ethnicity Sub-Group and member of Independent SAGE

Dr Latifa Patel | British Medical Association (Personal Capacity)

Aliya Yule | Migrants Organise

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