The United Kingdom: The Feminization of Poverty?

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This chapter summarizes the key data on women's poverty in the United Kingdom and explores the impact of recent policy on two key groups: sole mothers and lone elderly women. It shows that poverty rates have been falling, but that poverty is still a major problem affecting millions of people, sometimes over a period of many years. There are also many people who are on the margins of poverty, with little security in the short or longer term. Women are more at risk of poverty than men, especially women who live alone or who are solely responsible for dependent children. However, the poverty gap between women and men has narrowed substantially since the mid-1990s. This reflects the fall in poverty rates for sole mothers and single elderly women. Women have increased opportunities for financial independence through their own employment, but having children still leads women to have lower employment participation rates and opportunities than men.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPoor Women in Rich Countries
Subtitle of host publicationThe Feminization of Poverty Over the Life Course
EditorsG Goldberg
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9780199865574
ISBN (Print)9780195314304
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2009


  • British women
  • Employment
  • Lone elderly women
  • Poor women
  • Poverty
  • Sole mothers
  • United kingdom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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