What are the main reasons why women are more likely to be in poverty than men since 1945

Essay by felicityUniversity, Bachelor'sB, February 2004

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Causes of Poverty to Women

The feminisation of poverty has meant a higher percentage of women than men are likely to experience poverty throughout their lives (TUC). Society views a husbands income as primary to be shared amongst the family and a wife's role as domestic worker and carer (Brown: 1983). The male control of economic power within the family can cause unequal resource access, with acute cases resulting in a wife's poverty when her needs are sacrificed to provide adequate distribution for the children (Glendinning: 1992 ).

Labour market gender divisions exist as employment policies regard women as secondary earners, encouraging traditional, low paid, service sector work and training Part time and irregular employment are usually the only accommodating options for a woman's family role, providing substandard pay and an average income of two thirds that of her male counterpart. Typically male lead Trade Unions exacerbate these inequalities by fighting less for women's employment (Brown: 1983).

Probable disruption by home responsibilities and community care expenditure cuts, retain women in the home and hinder potential employment equality (Brown: 1983 ).

As social security is based on the principle of continuous remunerated employment, labour market inequalities result in women paying lower National Insurance contributions than the threshold leading to penalisation or dis-entitlement to SS except the means tested minimum, which if qualify are likely to receive lower benefit than their male counterparts (Glendinning: 1992). Female social security benefits are inadequate in both the private and public sectors as assumptions are structured upon male full time employment, with a husband providing replacement (Lewis: 1983).

Male financial dependency by a loan parent, of whom 90% are female, can entail difficulties of, rarely adequate, maintenance enforcement (Glendinning: 1992). Loan parents are typically unable to meet childcare costs to enable availability for full...