New knowledge on the gendered nature of poverty and wellbeing

New knowledge on the gendered nature of poverty and wellbeing

A gendered understanding of poverty is crucial for exploring its differing impacts. Women, in particular, may be vulnerable to the effects of poverty and the causes of women’s poverty, and how poverty is experienced, may differ from men. Neither women nor men, however, are a homogenous group and how poverty is experienced depends on other intersecting issues such as age, class, ethnicity, disability etc. Issues which poverty alleviation research also needs to take into account in order to get a more nuanced picture of people’s lived experiences to help shape policy responses that are relevant and appropriate.

Since 2005, the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research has commissioned high quality social science research addressing the international development goal of reducing poverty amongst the poorest in the world. Evidence from this research has improved understandings of the gendered nature of poverty and how differing identities impact people’s lived experiences of poverty. In particular the research has provided valuable insights in a number of key areas:

  • On social norms – the unwritten rules of societies – and how these impede or dictate women’s mobility and employment access. Studies also point, however, to how gender relations are complex and shifting in the face of new crises.
  • Challenging the assumption that gender equitable access to higher education is enough in the process of women’s empowerment.
  • The impacts of disease and ill-health on men and women and what hinders their access to services.
  • Differing experiences of poverty and well-being, in particular introducing the important, but often overlooked, concepts of shame and dignity.

The evidence report provides an assessment of 122 research grants awarded by the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research covering research in Central Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. 

  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.