The Feminization Of Poverty.

More over two-thirds of the world's poor population are women. 

This fact alone should cause us to consider how poverty is a male-female problem. 

Pay disparities between men and women have a long history in industrialized countries, which may lead to more women falling into poverty. 

If a woman's salary is substantially lower than a man's and she is a single parent, she will have a much harder time providing for herself and her children than a guy in a comparable position. 

In developing countries, women's social standing may have a role in their economic position. 

Sociologists and economists have also provided compelling evidence that women are more prone than males to sacrifice their personal well-being for the sake of their family. 

When it comes to distributing assistance to low-income households, this insight is critical. 

If males are more inclined to accept help and spend it on themselves rather than their families, or if women are more likely to utilize aid to benefit their families, development support should be directed at women and female heads of households. 

The issue is that there are frequently deep-seated gender prejudices against women as family financial managers. 

These shifts are reflected in the phrase "feminization of poverty," coined by Diana Pearce in the late 1970s. 

Poverty has grown increasingly feminine, as the term suggests. 

That means, among other things, that the majority of people in poverty are women, that the gap between the number of men and women in poverty has widened, that more female-headed households already in poverty are finding it difficult to escape, and that the effects of poverty are felt more strongly by women and children than by men. 

The feminization of poverty necessitates a fresh perspective on poverty problems. 

The notion necessitates an examination of the kinds and causes of social disparities based on gender in addition to the causes and effects of poverty. 

Gender prejudices, uneven earnings, and family responsibilities make it harder for women to escape poverty. 

Other reasons include the disparity in education and healthcare between men and women. 

Women are less likely to be able to get excellent employment with sustainable pay if they have poor education, lack training or opportunities for development, and have increasing household obligations. 

Furthermore, culturally sanctioned gender discrimination may prevent women from ever applying for certain professions. 

There may be extra variables in certain impoverished areas of the globe. 

Girls may be kept out of school so that a family's male offspring may go to school. 

Girls may be forced – or even sold – into different kinds of indentured servitude or slavery, unable to flee for their own or their families' safety. 

Girls and women are exploited all throughout the globe, which adds to the feminization of poverty. 

Legal and cultural obstacles that prevent women from owning property, such as when inheritance is handed to the eldest surviving male relative, may also make it more difficult for women to escape poverty. 

A widow may find herself at the mercy of a brother-in-law, nephew, or even her own kid if her spouse dies. 

In certain societies, social services, such as social security or welfare, are not as readily available to women as they are to males. 

Healthcare may also be an almost insurmountable barrier to a woman's capacity to overcome poverty. 

For example, state-funded healthcare may not always meet gender-specific demands, and medical aid may lack the resources to meet the unique needs of women's health. 

Consider the cost and availability of birth contraception for low-income women. 

Even if the state or a charity organization provides some basic healthcare, a woman in poverty may find it more difficult to get basic hygienic supplies. 

Recognizing the gender aspects of poverty is a critical first step toward transformation. 

Proposals for alleviating poverty for women have been proposed by global feminists from a range of schools of thought and cultural traditions. 

The United Nations Fourth World Congress on Women, convened in Beijing in 1995, is one of the clearest instances of coalitional politics in action. 

Women and women's organizations from across the globe gathered to address what they saw as the most urgent problems facing women. 

The most common form of violence against women was prevalent at the time, but the feminization of poverty was also discussed. 

The ‘Beijing Platform for Action,' released during the conference, calls on the international community to make substantial reforms to address many of the issues that women confront throughout the globe. 

The Platform for Action on Poverty called for legal measures to ensure gender equality, macro- and microeconomic reforms to address the many ways women and children face poverty, peace and security to help stabilize economic systems, and recognition of the paid and unpaid contributions women make to the economy. 

Microcredit or microlending has been extremely successful in Bangladesh and received worldwide notice when Muhammad Yunus, the creator of the Grameen Bank, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. 

Microlending is a kind of community lending that offers modest loans to assist women establish companies. 

Many women have been able to lift themselves, their families, and their communities out of poverty with very modest sums of money. 

While these and other recommendations from the Platform for Action in particular, as well as global feminists in general, have resulted in significant advances for women, the reality represented by the term "feminization of poverty" persists.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

You may also want to read more about Feminism and Activism here.