Concepts, Research, Policy
Elgar original reference
Edited by Sylvia Chant
Chapter 81: Reducing Gender Inequalities in Poverty: Considering Gender-sensitive Social Programmes in Costa Rica
Monica Budowski and Laura Guzmán Stein Costa Rica is considered a rather universalistic egalitarian social state due to its positive indicators in gender equality, health and other areas (Budowski and Suter, 2009). Despite trends towards a more liberal model in economics, state organisations have not been dismantled and gender equality has remained on the agenda since 1994. However, women’s poverty rate is still higher than men’s (for example, 20.6 per cent in 2007 as compared to 15.1 per cent), and there is also evidence for some persistence in this gap. Whereas poverty rates for female-headed households decreased by 6 per cent from 1995 to 2003 (from 30.6 to 24.0 per cent), the corresponding decline for male-headed households was almost 10 per cent (from 26.3 to 16.7 per cent) (Gindling and Oviedo, 2008; see also Chant, 2007: ch. 6). Although well-educated, women have not been able to capitalise on their higher education, and the gender wage gap has increased. Women’s net participation rate in paid work rose from 32 per cent in 1995 to 37 per cent in 2004; in particular (low-income) women-headed households with young children have increasingly entered the labour force. Women’s work opportunities (more non-standard work and work in the informal sector) vary in quality when compared with men’s. Elements contributing to stagnating poverty rates are identified in the gendered division of labour, structural changes in the labour market and demographic changes (González et al., 2009). In light of the above, we review the innovative programmes...
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