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Feminist Explanations For The Feminization Of Poverty

            In review of the article "Feminist Explanations for the Feminization of Poverty", by Steven Pressman, he states "It is well known that women are much more likely to be poor than men". This is true in the US and in most developed nations. But the causes of this phenomenon remain unclear. In an earlier article Pressman wrote (Pressman 2002), he found that the "impact of fiscal policy on the distribution of income was found to be the main reason that women in the United States are more likely to be poor than women in other countries." This article looks at two feminist explanations for the feminization of poverty. First, there is the issue of household structure. He talks of how parenthood leads to lower earnings for women because they are usually the ones with the care-giving responsibilities for the children. In turn, this takes away from the time they can work and travel. Also he points out that families run by a single mother may reduce the household income and are more susceptible to poverty. Second, there is the issue of occupational sex segregation. He states "If women are systematically excluded from higher-paying occupations, their wages and incomes will be lower than the wages of men". .
             Throughout his article, Pressman displays a wide array of data: Tables 1, 2, and 3. In Table 1, he focuses on non-elderly households. Table 2 he displays "the gender poverty gap" of not only the United States but of many countries. In the United States he displays that the female headed households are about 21.9 percent more likely to be poor than other households on average. However most countries fit into the grouping where female headed households are only about 10 percent more likely to be poor than other households. There appears to be two parts to Table 2. The first part is of disposable incomes, and the second is of factor incomes. The table shows that if female headed households had been able to work as much as other families, the gender poverty gap would have been two-thirds lower.

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