Gender and poverty: what we know, don’t know, and need to know for Agenda 2030

Bradshaw, Sarah, Chant, Sylvia and Linneker, Brian (2017) Gender and poverty: what we know, don’t know, and need to know for Agenda 2030. Gender, Place and Culture, 24 (12) . pp. 1667-1688. ISSN 0966-369X [Article] (doi:10.1080/0966369X.2017.1395821)

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Drawing on historical debates on gender, poverty, and the ‘feminisation of poverty’, this paper reflects on current evidence, methods and analysis of gendered poverty. It focuses on initiatives by UN Women, including the Progress of the World’s Women 2015–16. Our analysis of the data compiled by UN Women raises questions about what might account for the over-representation of women among the poor in official accounts of poverty, and how this is plausibly changing (or not) over time. The paper highlights that analysis of what is measured and how needs to be understood in relation to who is the focus of measurement. The lack of available data which is fit for purpose questions the extent to which gender poverty differences are ‘real’ or statistical. There is a continued reliance on comparing female with male headed households, and we argue the move by UN Women to adopt the notion of Female Only Households reflects available data driving conceptual understandings of women’s poverty, rather than conceptual advances driving the search for better data. Wider UN processes highlight that while sensitivity to differences among women and their subjectivities are paramount in understanding the multiple processes accounting for gender bias in poverty burdens, they are still accorded little priority. To monitor advances in Agenda 2030 will require more and better statistics. Our review suggests that we are still far from having a set of tools able to adequately measure and monitor gendered poverty.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
Item ID: 23142
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Gender, Place & Culture on 13 November 2017, available online:
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Depositing User: Jennifer Basford
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2017 12:35
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 20:23

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