Female NHS staff accuse government of ‘sexism’ for providing PPE ‘designed for men’ that needs to be tightened to fit their smaller faces and frames
- Anonymous woman from Scotland, voiced concerns about PPE sizes on Twitter
- She said her friend works 12.5 hour shifts without masks that fit properly
- A flood of responses agreed PPE isn’t designed with women in mind
Female NHS workers have taken to social media to criticise the government for providing PPE designed and made to fit men.
A Scottish ICU nurse explained she and her female colleagues are forced to ‘tighten’ their protective equipment, such as masks and face guards, in order to make them fit their smaller faces and frames.
The revelation was shared on Twitter by the unnamed nurse’s friend.
Other female frontline workers took to the platform to share their similar personal experiences and said it made them feel like the government prioritised the health and well-being of their male colleagues.
A Scottish ICU nurse explained she and her female colleagues are forced to ‘tighten’ their protective equipment, such as masks and face guards, in order to make them fit their smaller faces and frames. Pictured, a nurse at a drive-through testing centre in England in March
The anonymous woman explained that her friend who works with covid-19 patients, has asked for support in raising the issue to Scottish ministers
One person wrote: ‘Small still tends to fit incorrectly. It’s simply designed for a smaller man. Women have a different face shape to men, tending to have smaller chins and noses, what is needed is a properly fitted item.
Another said: ‘Friend of mine who works at the GRI has to be in full hazmat because her face is to small for masks’
A stream of responses to the post agreed women shouldn’t be made to wear the same PPE as men, because they tend to have smaller features
A third added: ‘I find this really strange. The kit is made worldwide by multiple producers, sold globally. Amazed that no manufacturer has picked up on this literal gap in the market. I hope this is fixed, in the meanwhile my heart-felt thanks to all NHS workers’
A user arguing that face masks aren’t sexist, wrote: ‘Sadly this can’t change overnight. Face masks do come in small but ratio of production is about one to ten against larger size. The masks you wear just now sell to construction workers normally. It’s not sexist, there just isn’t a huge demand for the quantities needed right now.’
One person argued it isn’t sexist that women are being made to wear uncomfortable PPE, because there’s a huge demand across all sizes at the moment
The response was soon blasted as Twitter users continued to declare most nurses are female.
‘It is sexism if the equipment that must be used for safety is not designed for half of the population and at least 70 per cent of the people needing it. Same way if airline sears and seat belts didn’t fit most men. See the problem?’ wrote one.
Another said: ‘Part of the issue is that woman are accustomed to making adjustments/ living with discomfort. Because we don’t complain (as we think it’s part of life) the issue goes unnoticed. Even scrubs, which are ‘unisex’ are uncomfortable, in a way they aren’t for men.’
Others said women usually don’t voice their discomfort, which explains why they’ve never been given suitable PPE