Knowing Gendered Poverty in the Global South: A Protracted Path to Progress?


Alongside Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 in the new global Agenda 2030 which aims to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”, gender is also flagged in SDG 1 which exhorts “eliminating poverty in all its forms everywhere”. This holistic and gender-sensitive call is welcome for several reasons, not least because there is considerable evidence that poverty, which is typically linked to income but not reducible to it, encompasses multiple privations which are often disproportionately experienced by women and girls. This is perhaps particularly so in the Global South, notwithstanding that putting a precise figure on gender-differentiated poverty (even in income terms) and thinking about what data might come into the frame for tracking progress in SDG 1, remains a formidable challenge. To date, robust, geographically-compatible, sex-disaggregated panel statistics have been so sorely lacking that speculative assertions that “poverty has a female face”, “70% of the world’s poor are women”, and that women-headed households are the “poorest of the poor” have dominated scholarly and policy discourse as received, if uncorroborated, wisdoms.

Fortunately, we are moving into an era in which doubt about the veracity of claims about gendered poverty is being signalled by international organisations, giving weight to the idea that more and better data are needed. Indeed, in its Progress of the World’s Women 2015-16 report, UN Women (2015: 45, Box 1.4) profess that although around 1 billion people in 2011 (c15% of the world population at that time) were estimated to be ‘extremely poor’ (on the basis of the international monetary poverty line of less than US$1.25 a day at 2005 prices), “it is unknown how many of those living in poverty are women and girls”. UN Women also add, albeit in a footnote, that “The much cited ‘factoid’ that 70% of the world’s poor are women is now widely regarded as improbable” (UN Women 2015: 307, 92n).

These admissions should be construed as a major watershed, given that the statistic of 70% of the world’s poor being female, first aired at the Fourth Women’s World Conference in Beijing in 1995, and enduring over twenty years subsequently, was at an early stage doubted on grounds of its empirical validity (see Marcoux 1997). Moreover, such admissions help to unsettle the arguably flawed terminology of a global ‘feminisation of poverty’, which has often been used to describe situations where poverty was (or is) simply ‘feminised’ (state), rather than rising over time (trend) (Chant 2008; Medeiros and Costa 2006, 2008). This is not to deny that while issue may be taken with a never-substantiated baseline figure or its rarely-supported corollary of a ‘feminisation of poverty’, which seemed to gain sustained legitimacy over two decades simply on account of repeated circulation in policy and scholarly literature (see Chant 2008: 16; Wisor et al. 2014: 1, 2n), it must also be recognised that this has also earned gender a prominent place on the poverty-reduction radar.

Knowing Gendered Poverty in the Global South: A Protracted Path to Progress?

scarica pdf
Commenti disabilitati

Numero 20 POVERTY dicembre, 2017 - Autore:, ,   Condividi


Tags: , , , , , , ,

porno porno izle porno porno film izle