Concepts, Research, Policy
Elgar original reference
Edited by Sylvia Chant
Chapter 75: Gender Inequalities and Poverty: A Simulation of the Likely Impacts of Reducing Labour Market Inequalities on Poverty Incidence in Latin America
Joana Costa and Elydia Silva A predictable critique to be heard in any conference about gender and poverty is that income poverty indicators are ‘gender blind’. This is certainly a legitimate observation, and it is difficult to understand how gender inequalities are not reflected in different poverty indicators among women and men. Yet there are two critical factors which are important in accounting for this. One is the persistent concept of poverty as a household phenomenon. The other is the lack of empirical information about the unequal intrahousehold distribution of income. One step towards overcoming the problem of deriving indicators about income poverty and gender is to differentiate poverty indicators among households according to the sex of the household head, but this is not adequate to get to the individual women and men in households and, in fact, is not the only possibility despite the limitations of existing data. The importance of producing more poverty indicators which reveal gender differences in income at an individual level is not only critical for analysis, but policy. It is well known that eliminating gender inequalities would bring many benefits to women’s lives, and to their households. Even if policymakers might be more interested in the consequences of reducing gender inequalities for the whole of society, gender inequalities, like any other inequalities caused by discrimination, are intrinsically unfair and they should be fought against even if this implies negative outcomes in other socio-economic indicators. Our position is that policymakers should be aware of all...
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