Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life
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Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life

Edited by Deborah M. Figart and Tonia L. Warnecke

The Handbook illuminates complex facets of the economic and social provisioning process across the globe. The contributors – academics, policy analysts and practitioners from wide-ranging areas of expertise – discuss the methodological approaches to, and analytical tools for, conducting research on the gender dimension of economic life. They also provide analyses of major issues facing both developed and developing countries. Topics explored include civil society, discrimination, informal work, working time, central bank policy, health, education, food security, poverty, migration, environmental activism and the financial crisis.
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Chapter 28: A case of gendered hazards and health effects for ultra-poor women

Rita Watterson, Lynn McIntyre and Krista Rondeau


Gender inequality and unfairness reflected in power, resources, entitlements, norms and values, organizational structure, and programming disproportionately shape the health and well-being of women across the globe (Moss, 2002; CSDH, 2008). In 1995, it was estimated that 70 percent of the world’s poor were women (UNDP, 1995). Since then, more complex analyses of poverty and gender have shown significant gender gaps in some countries based on intra house hold income distribution by sex, type of house hold (for example, female- versus male-headed households with young children), control over house hold resources, as well as disparities in inheritance and property rights (UNSD,2010). Many of these gendered differences exist because of inequalities in the labor market (Chen et al., 2004). Since 1990, women’s participation rate in the labor market worldwide has averaged 52 percent and remains below that of men (81 percent in 1990 and 77 percent in 2010) (UNSD, 2010). On a regional level, women’s participation in the labor force is more variable: in 2010, rates were below 30 percent in Northern Africa and Western Asia, below 40 percent in Southern Asia, and below 50 percent in the Caribbean and Central America (ibid.). In addition to unequal labor force participation, a gendered pay gap between 70 and 90 percent of men’s wages exists worldwide (ibid.).

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