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Journal Article

The study of women's deprivation: how to reveal the gender dimension of poverty


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The aim of this article is to discuss some of the central conceptual and methodological issues which must be tackled if we wish to investigate poverty in a gender-sensitive way. The relationship between women and poverty is complex and therefore very difficult to reveal. The disproportionate vulnerability of women arises from the interaction of economic disadvantages in the labour market, in domestic circumstances and in welfare systems. The methodological challenge that emerges now is 'how can we reveal the gender dimension of poverty?' My answer is that both a new and more suitable theoretical paradigm and a new methodology are required. Women's poverty cannot be understood and tackled using paradigms and methodological instruments based upon the view that poverty is a genderneutral phenomenon. Particularly, it is necessary to shed light on the different mechanisms behind women's poverty and to depict the crucial role played by the inequalities in the distribution of resources within the family in shaping women's well-being. Thus, longitudinal data are required, since they can efficiently estimate the parameters of dynamic processes in the social sciences. Moreover, specific methodological choices and full methodological awareness are needed: what is needed is a way of placing individuals within households. Finally, a higher data quality and a greater data comparability are required. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Published in

International Journal of Social Research Methodology


4 (2):101-118



Social Groups, Poverty, and Research



serial sequence - indexed article


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