Understanding poverty from a gender perspective

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Understanding poverty from a gender perspective


What is poverty, how to measure it and how to tackle it, are the three questions to which this document responds, on the basis of the theoretical framework of gender studies. The harmonization of policies for economic growth, social equity and gender equity is a challenge that can no longer be ignored. Poverty is considered as the result of power relations that first of all affect men and women in a different way, but then also indigenous and Afro-descendent women, older adults and the inhabitants of certain areas. The multidimensional nature of this phenomenon is shown, as well as the virtues and limitations of traditional forms of measuring poverty, drawing attention to specific aspects which explain the disadvantages suffered by women: the invisibility of unpaid domestic labour, the time poverty associated with such labour; the labour and wage discrimination against women; the importance of studies of the family from a gender perspective and the challenges for public policy. In order to avoid discriminatory biases it is suggested that efforts must be made to develop women's economic autonomy and promote a reconciliation of private and domestic life by encouraging a mass influx of men into the sphere of care.