Table of Contents

The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty

The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty

Concepts, Research, Policy

Elgar original reference

Edited by Sylvia Chant

In the interests of contextualising (and nuancing) the multiple interrelations between gender and poverty, Sylvia Chant has gathered writings on diverse aspects of the subject from a range of disciplinary and professional perspectives, achieving extensive thematic as well as geographical coverage. This benchmark volume presents women’s and men’s experiences of gendered poverty with respect to a vast spectrum of intersecting issues including local to global economic transformations, family, age, ‘race’, migration, assets, paid and unpaid work, health, sexuality, human rights, and conflict and violence.

Chapter 24: Linking Women’s and Children’s Poverty

Ruth Lister

Subjects: development studies, development studies, family and gender policy, geography, human geography, research methods in geography, law - academic, human rights, politics and public policy, human rights, social policy and sociology, family and gender policy


Ruth Lister Child poverty is high on the agenda of the British and other European governments. Yet the links between child poverty and women’s poverty tend to be overlooked. The first part of this chapter, which is written primarily in the British context, makes some general observations about the gendered nature of poverty from the perspective of women. The second part focuses on some of the ramifications with regard to child poverty. In particular, it discusses the effects of women’s role as poverty managers on their parenting and job-seeking capacities and the importance of women’s earnings in preventing child poverty. The conclusion draws out some implications for the conceptualisation of poverty and for policy.1 The gendered nature of poverty Poverty is gendered in terms of its incidence, causes and effects. Insofar as it is possible to estimate the numbers of women and men living in income poverty using existing measures, the evidence from the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) shows that, to varying degrees and with the clearest exception of Sweden, women are at greater risk than men. Black and minority ethnic women and disabled women are particularly vulnerable. Longitudinal research in the United Kingdom (UK) also shows that women are more likely than men to suffer longer spells of income poverty and to move in and out of poverty. The data on incidence tend to be inadequate because, although they purport to count the number of individual women and men in income poverty, they in fact...

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