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Inequalities in Earnings and Child Rearing: What is the Gender Aspect of Poverty?

Wolfgang Strengmann-Kuhn

Poverty rates of women are usually not or only slightly higher than those of men. Thus the statement »poverty is female« cannot be confirmed empirically. This is at least the case if the typical poverty measures are used. Nevertheless gender inequalities and low pay of women are a main source of poverty. This is shown for the case of Germany by empirical investigations of the relationship between individual earnings and poverty based on household income, both from a cross-sectional and a longitudinal point of view. It appears that low earnings of women and reduced work during periods of child rearing are an important reason for poverty, though not only for women, but also for their husbands, even if they work, and for their children.

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