The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty
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The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty

Concepts, Research, Policy

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.
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Chapter 65: Gender, Poverty and Inequality: The Role of Markets, States and Households

Shahra Razavi and Silke Staab


Shahra Razavi and Silke Staab The convergence in women’s and men’s labour force participation which has taken place across different regions has to be seen alongside the persistence of gender segmentations in labour markets that feed into inequalities in earnings, rights at work and rights to social security. This constitutes an important pillar of unequal gender relations. Gender inequalities overlap with persistent inequalities between a more formalised and regulated workforce, and an expanding pool of workers who are unorganised and denied many of the rights associated with formal employment. These two structural patterns seem to cut across a number of otherwise diverse countries. Does this signify the ‘policy convergence’ that some observers claim is taking place in the context of liberalisation? And do women’s labour market disadvantages signify a ‘feminisation of poverty’ as it has been widely claimed? The answer to both questions must be a qualified no. Social policies, household structures and income pooling within households interface with labour market inequalities and shape women’s and men’s poverty risk in different ways (UNRISD, 2010). Gendering income poverty: the role of markets, states and households Three social institutions mediate men’s and women’s access to income and the risk of being poor: labour markets, states and households. Our approach considers individuals poor if they live in households with poverty level income, with per capita income counted at the household level (based on a simple division of aggregate household income) – an approach that inevitably produces relatively small gender gaps among adults who are...

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