Sociology - Wealth, Poverty and Work - Essay on why Women experience poverty more than Men.

HideShow resource information

Examine the reasons why women are more likely than men to experience poverty (20).

Poverty is the state of being extremely poor, but it can be easily defined using a relative definition to show the inequalities between genders in poverty. Relative poverty definitions look at society's norms and what is socially acceptable and then turn this into what poverty is in that specific society. For example, Townsend created the deprivation index which is a list of 12 items (initially 60) which are necessary to live a life out of poverty, he said that if you were without 3 or more of them then you were in poverty. This definition also looks at social exclusion and opportunities in work; but also social inequality in society, which relates to the gender inequalities and can show why women are more likely to experience poverty than men.

One reason why women may be more likely to be in poverty than men is down to the capitalist society and its dependence on the male-dominated labour market. Marxists would argue that the capitalist society of today, works on the premise of profit and free markets which means that some individuals will be more successful than others. The labour market is considered to be the main source of income, so exclusion from work for whatever reason is a major factor in poverty. Relating to gender, women are more unable to work than males because of biological reasons including that they have the opportunity to have children and will most likely stay at home to look after them and so won’t working. But because of the capitalist society, not working means that you don’t have the opportunities to stay above the poverty line. So women who cannot work because of the likelihood of having kids are more likely to experience poverty as it’s impossible in a profit driven society to keep going. Marxists would, therefore, say that women are more likely to experience poverty than men because society works on the ability to provide for the ruling-class through work, and woman cannot work when having children as much as so will slip through the poverty line. However, it could be argued that women are not forced to have children and so the large figures of inequality between men and women can’t just be down to this factor. Times have changed, and women’s attitudes have


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Poverty, wealth and welfare resources »