Gender and Development

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  • Topic: Poverty, Economic development, Gender
  • Pages : 8 (3174 words )
  • Download(s) : 147
  • Published : May 8, 2013
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The multidimensional features of poverty allow scholars to interpret the segregation from the various angles, and narrow it down into four approaches: economic perspectives, capabilities theory, social exclusion and participative approach (Steward et al 2003). The first approach or income capacity is the most commonly used and easily measured. Having lack of financial resources eliminates people access to the basic needs, such as: food, shelters, clothes and so forth. However, a capabilities theory pioneer, Amartya Sen (Brighouse et al, 2010, p.3) argues that economic reason cannot be used as the single measurement to justify the cause of poverty. Sen (2010) believes that an individual has to be equipped with sufficient capacity to prepare them to be independent and capable to meet life basic needs, which at the end will serve as the weapon to fight against poverty. The third approach is the social exclusionists who view poverty from the absence of individual participation in the community as the result of social marginalisation. In the participatory approach, Dessarrolo (2004) combined scholar’s perspective over the notion of participation as “the poor define poverty based on their own analysis of their reality, by including aspects they consider to be significant. (Stewart et al, 2003). There have been increasing numbers of poor women in the world who dominate the total world population, particularly in Asia and Sub-Saharan regions (United Nations, 1996, p. 37). They are often marginalised and discriminated upon; the situation which partially occurred due to the traditional patriarchal system in the developing countries, and also forced by the modernisation. The combination of both factors has resulted in the women’s discrimination and poverty. However, in recent years in order to support their families with additional income women participate in the labour market. It does not help them to get out of the poverty, yet lead to the feminisation of poverty (Moghadam, 2005, p.2) On the other hand, by actively participating in the workforce, at the same time, women also contribute significantly to the social and development of the society at macro and micro levels. This essay seeks to investigate relations between poverty and gender inequality in the first part. Furthermore, the second part is to analyse the implications of gender inequalities for the social and economic development. The linkages between poverty and gender: Resources Allocation and Property Rights; Labour Market Distributions (Industry and Migration)

According to the UN report of 1996, there are 565 million of women living in poverty, with the increased number of 50% for the past 20 years. The distribution is that, 374 million of poor women live in Asia and the other 129 million is in Sub-Sahara region of Africa (UN, 1996, p.37). The poor condition that women are going through was noted in the World Women Conference in Beijing (UN, 1996, p. 37). In this conference (UN, 1996), it was mentioned that in total more than a billion of human population are women, and the majority of them are the ones who live in poverty and deprivation which is an unacceptable situation. These poor women are mostly inhabited in the developing countries. Thus, the statistical report has shown that there are a great number of women in the world living in poverty. The key factors that prevent them from getting out of their deprivation and living the decent life as their male counterparts need to be understood as Boserup (2007, p.6) explains:

…two successive steps in economic development can be seen; in the first steps, subsistence activities for family use are replaced by commercial production for sale, and small scale market trade and services. In the second step, this type of activity is replaced by employment in modern factories, offices, modern shops and modern service industries.

Thus, in Boserup’s (2007,p.6) view women are stuck in deprivation because subsistence...
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