The term “feminization of poverty” was coined by Diana Pearce in 1978 who claimed that women heads of households were the poorest of the poor (Pearce, 1978). This concept became very popular in the 1990s after the fourth United Nations Conference on Women. Yet, after a decade of research on the feminization of poverty, Sylvia Chant and many other researchers criticized the narrowness of the concept and highlighted the need of including the gender dimensions of poverty within the definition of feminization of poverty (Chant 2003; Moghadam 2005; Staveren & Odebode, 2007). The research on the feminization of poverty from 2010-2020 broadly focused on the poverty of women within men-headed households and highlighted intra-household gender inequalities when women are not given an equal share of the resources (Bradshaw, 2013; Bradshaw & Linneker, 2014; Chant, 2010; Gammage et al., 2016). The present research, therefore, focuses on the contextual notion of the feminisation of poverty, by viewing the poverty of women as a result of intra-household gender inequalities due to patriarchal structures. This paper looks at how the feminisation of poverty conceptualizes women living below poverty line, men living below the poverty line, and social welfare schemes carried out by the state, such as the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP). We also question whether the feminisation of poverty has an effect on children (child education, child labor, and child marriage). The ontological and epistemological foundation of the present research is drawn from Standpoint Feminist Theory (SFT) coupled with the Social Relations Approach (SRA) associated with Kabeer (1994). The research is qualitative in nature, based on data from in-depth interviews, with women and men living in conditions of poverty. Data was also collected from selected employees of the Benazir Income Support Program.
Zulfiqar, Humaira and Malik, Ra’ana
"A Contextual Analysis of the Feminization of Poverty in Urban Slums of Pakistan,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 25:
7, Article 13.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol25/iss7/13