Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Feminization of Poverty

  • Jeffrey Swindle
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_269

Feminization of Poverty refers to the increased disparity of poverty between males and females worldwide. Gender discrimination is a cultural trait across the world, and most notably in developing nations. Women have less access to “substantive freedoms,” according to economist Amartya Sen, such as education, employment, health care, and democratic freedoms. According to Sen’s “capabilities approach” to poverty, then, women are in greater poverty in all possible indicators. Additionally, as countries continue to develop, women are developing at a slower rate, thus increasing gender disparity and resulting in the feminization of poverty.

The root of the feminization of poverty is cultural stigmas. Across the world, women face challenges due to cultural perception of gender roles. Women face cultural challenges in various forms. Forced prostitution, genital mutilation, infanticide, and honor killings are examples of violence enacted against women that are culturally acceptable in many...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey Swindle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA