Feminization Of Poverty

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There is a widespread tendency among policy makers to link poverty with women rather than gender relations and to highlight women as a victim rather than agents. In recent years, feminization of poverty (FP) has become a common term in development lexicon and it is now widely viewed as a global trend across developing countries. Various researcher and policymakers has been measuring poverty by income privation, rather than grassroots experience and trying to prove that poverty is feminizing. In her book, Gender, Generation and Poverty; Sylvia Chant (2007) challenges this widespread unreasonable conviction in the ‘feminization of poverty’. She carried out intensive fieldwork in three different countries to investigate the present condition and…show more content…
She argues that this conventional approach is mainly based on assumption and there are no firm data to confirm that the incidence of poverty among women is systematically rising relative to men in the majority of countries. For example, in The Gambia and the Philippines official statistics suggested that FHH is less affected by poverty in compare to Costa Rica. As well as, various researchers articulated that, between the early 1990s and early twenty-first century they found no solid evidence of a process of feminization of poverty in the Latin American region. Besides this, if we accept that women are getting poorer and poverty is becoming increasingly feminised then there should be ‘masculinisation” of power, wealth and resources and men must be getting richer. But the truth is that, men in some countries are beginning to fall behind women in respect of educational attainment and access to…show more content…
Author also illustrated that, three underlying factors explain the frequently problematic construction of FHH as the “poorest of the poor”, and these are: historical legacy; continued reliance on quantitative indicators of poverty; and political agenda. Surprisingly, there is a widespread misconception that female heads cannot properly support their families or ensure their well-being and it creates inter-generational transmission of disadvantage. Indeed, various studies indicate that children in female-headed households may actually be better off than their counterparts in male-headed units in terms of educational attainment, nutrition and health. We can’t assume that living with men automatically mitigates women’s risks of poverty because women in male-headed households also experience poverty. In Costa Rica it is a popular stereotype to depict FHH as poorest of the poor even when various qualitative evidences suggests that women’s income and well-being are frequently improving. Households headed by women in Costa Rica has increased in recent years due to getting various support from state and its high social security system. So instead of proving they (FHH) are worse off, female headship should be seen as a opportunity

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