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Gender and poverty: what we know, don’t know and need to know for Agenda 2030

Bradshaw, Sarah, Chant, Sylvia and Linneker, Brian (2017) Gender and poverty: what we know, don’t know and need to know for Agenda 2030. Gender, Place and Culture, 24 (12). 1667 - 1688. ISSN 0966-369X

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Identification Number: 10.1080/0966369X.2017.1395821


Drawing on historical debates on gender, poverty, and the ‘feminisation of poverty' this paper reflects on current evidence, methods and analysis of gendered poverty. It focuses on initiatives by UN Women, including the Progress of the World's Women 2015-16, which represents one of the most concerted attempts by an international agency to reflect on what we know about the contemporary state of women's poverty in various parts of the developing and transitional world. Our analysis of the data compiled by UN Women raises questions about what might account for the over-representation of women among the poor in official accounts of poverty, and how this is plausibly changing (or not) over time. The paper highlights that analysis of what is measured and how needs to be understood in relation to who is the focus of measurement. The lack of available data which is fit for purpose questions the extent to which gender poverty differences are ‘real’ or statistical. There is a continued reliance on comparing female with male headed households, and the move by UN Women to adopt the notion of Female Only Households reflects available data driving conceptual understandings of women's poverty, rather than conceptual advances driving the search for better data. Wider UN processes highlight that while sensitivity to differences among women and their subjectivities are paramount in understanding the multiple processes accounting for gender bias in poverty burdens, they are still accorded little priority. It is recognised that to monitor advances in Agenda 2030 will require more and better statistics. Our review suggests we know little about how poverty is experienced by women and men and that we are still far from having a set of tools able to adequately measure and monitor gendered poverty.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2017 08:15
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:32

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