Poverty and Gender in Developing Nations

Poverty and Gender in Developing Nations

Contemporary measures of poverty are based on income or consumption. Despite world prosperity, poverty continues to increase as income disparity between rich and poor widens. Critiques of using income poverty to identify the poor are followed by a discussion of current studies of nonincome social aspects of poverty. Such indicators underscore the gendered nature of poverty. Women are disadvantaged in the labor market by their household responsibilities, especially in the growing number of women-headed households. Within the family, women seldom have control over the use of income or food. Poverty alleviation programs respond to these social issues by empowering women. Income from microcredit projects and home-based work enhance women’s status. Membership in women’s groups expand their knowledge base. Security of housing tenure supports women’s income and care-giving duties, further empowering them.

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