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Apr 16, 2006

During the Inquest into the death of Kimberly Rogers, I first heard the phrase - "the Feminization of Poverty".

The Feminization of Poverty means: the trend towards more and more of the burden of poverty being bourne by women.

Some of these trends include... (list authored by Dr. Elisa Kay Sparks)

1.  Women are paid less.
That accumulates throughout a lifetime

2. Occupational segregation
– jobs that women are socialized to go for, often pay less

3.  Divorce:

  • Women usually (90%) take care of the children -- child support costs $
  • Decreasing amounts/ awards of child support
  • Only about 50% of fathers pay court-ordered child-support
  • Amount that fathers pay (old stat: $229 per family) is not enough to pay for day care, usually less than car payment
  • After divorce, men's income tends to go up and women's down
4.  Women tend to outlive their husbands and money can run out.

5.  Demographic changes
mean that increasing number of women-maintained families where there are no men bringing in money

  • Changes in the economy (reduction of wages for working people) mean that most families need two incomes to survive
  • Men's wages are higher than women's (73%-76%)
6.  Structure of the workforce: 

  • women tend to go into lower paying professions.
  • places where women can get jobs often are part time, half-time, seasonal, no benefits.
  • women tend to go in and out of the workforce to take care of kids or relatives
7.  Many women's jobs don't have medical benefits.

8.  Government tends to fund the elderly instead of children and mothers

LINKS about the Feminization of Poverty

Press Kit: ALL WOMEN ARE WORKING WOMEN, 4TH WORLD CONFERENCE ON WOMEN, BEIJING (The Feminization of Poverty) - Public information

Poverty is hazardous to women's health: and we can do something about it
Summarizes findings and recommendations of Women's Health Clinic's study, "Women, Income and Health in Manitoba," which shows that women living in poverty may get sick and die sooner.

Women and Poverty
Briefly examines the impact of poverty on the health of women.

A report card on women and poverty
Demonstrates the disproportionate percentage of Canadian women living in poverty. Explores the feminization of poverty and how gender inequality contributes to the steadily growing number of women in poverty. Link requires PDF reader.

Briefing paper on the "feminisation of poverty"
Reviews and discusses various issues regarding women and poverty. Topics included in this brief are female-headed households, labour force participation, changes in the understanding of poverty, and policy implications for both women in development

Disablement and the Feminisation of Poverty
Explores the economic and social experiences of women with disabilities in Canada. Offers statistics and discusses the topics of poverty, diversity, feminism and disablement, and exclusion.

Power and privileges: gender discrimination and poverty
Illustrates and examines how the perspective of a poor women often differs from the perspective of a poor man, and how the expressions of female poverty and deprivation differ from those of men. Link requires PDF reader.

Power and privileges: gender discrimination and poverty: interim studies
Examines ways female and male poverty and deprivation are defined and assessed. Details how these assessments influence efforts to reduce poverty and ill-health. Link requires PDF reader.

Rural women speak about the face of poverty: final report
Presents the results of consultations held with women living in poverty in rural Ontario. Provides recommendations for further research. Link requires PDF reader.

The insertion model or the workfare model? The transformation of social assistance with Quebec and Canada
Presents a comparative analysis of changes in social assistance policies in Canada, particularly in Quebec.

Why women would gain from a guaranteed livable income
Examines the feminization of poverty. Argues for the provision of a universal guaranteed livable income.

Women & the Economy
Forms an interactive website that discusses many topics regarding women's economic inequality. Includes sections on women and globalization, economics 101, women's economic contributions, economic alternatives, women's differenct expe

Women and Poverty (CRIAW)
Discusses issues relating to women and poverty including who is at risk of poverty, why women's incomes are lower than men's, and the effects of the poverty of women on society. Link requires PDF reader.

Women and social reform
Reviews the origins of current principles and practices of social reform, their impact on federal and provincial reform of programs and services, and the ways these social reforms alter women’s opportunities for well being.

Women's poverty, women's health: the role of access to justice
Addresses the role of access to justice in responding to women's increased poverty and reduced health resulting from government restructuring. Considers the interrelationship of social assistance and justice, examining selected services accessed by poor women, the changes effected as part of government restructuring in recent years, their impact on women's health, and the potential in legal responses.

Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Sunday April 16, 2006, 11:27 am
Tags: women poverty [add/edit tags]

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Barbara Anello
female , married, 2 children
North Bay, ON, Canada
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