Synthesis Essay on Gender and Poverty

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The government has been committed to solving the problem of social poverty for many years. New Labour also issued new policies on child poverty and pensions and promised to solve these problems (Bradshaw, J., 2003, P5). Labour's measures deal mainly with child poverty and retirement security for the elderly and poor communities. Although the measures are not aimed at solving the problem of gender inequality and poverty but improve the environment for children to grow up in the family, the fact is that women are the main caregivers of children in most families, reducing child poverty also means that various policies have an implicit gender dimension (UK Government, 2001). There is evidence that relevant policies have made progress in a macro sense, alleviating economic pressures on women and parents with children (Bradshaw, J., 2003, P5).


1. Gender differences at work

In the 1999 Family Resources Survey, women were found to have a higher poverty rate in their households. Nearly 25% of female households earn less than the median, while 22% of male households earn the same amount (Bradshaw, J., 2003, P3). Women are also more likely to lack two or more social necessities and are more likely to rely on income support, according to surveys of poverty and social exclusion. Evidence from research shows that women are more likely to be poor in society, and the persistence of occupational segregation leads to the emergence of gender gaps (Bradshaw, J., 2003, p4). However, women's need to bear and care for children leads to the job prospects and status of many women in the labor market, especially women with less education, who are more negatively affected than ordinary women (Bradshaw, J., 2003, p4). Moreover, most part-time jobs are filled by women, and their jobs tend to be low-paid (Van Lancker, W., 2012). As a result, the wage gap between full-time and part-time workers is widening.

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This also highlights the importance of investigating factors that contribute to the gender pay gap. Costa Dias, M., Joyce, R., and Parodi, F. (2020) studied some key factors of the gender wage gap and found in their study that the gender wage gap would gradually expand with the growth of children. Women who may take time off from paid work or work part-time may slow down women's wage growth through skill depreciation or skill accumulation. In addition, the gender wage gap will also be reflected in different occupations or working conditions, and this gap will be reflected in occupational differentiation (Costa Dias, M., Joyce, R. and Parodi, F., 2020). However, occupational differentiation can result in men and women being assigned to different occupations. Rudman et al. (2012) pointed out in the study that women and men are naturally considered to have different abilities and tastes, and the study showed that men are more active than women. Women tend to have more typically female abilities, such as social and nurturing skills, while men are seen as stronger more logical, and better at management-skill types. Similarly, Levanon, A. and Grusky, D.B. (2016) also pointed out that essentialist discrimination also exists in the workplace. Employers will internalize essentialist assumptions and assign jobs according to these assumptions. Costa Dias, M., Joyce, R. and Parodi, F. (2020) evaluated the quantitative importance of gender wage differences from the longitudinal data of households since 1991 and established an empirical model of wage dynamics. And found that full-time hours were a key factor in wage growth. The model shows that the wages of men and women increase with age in their 20s but gradually increase over the next 20 years of the life cycle, much of which is related to the arrival of children. Women need to pay more attention to their children (Costa Dias, M., Joyce, R. and Parodi, F., 2020). Bertrand, M., Goldin, C., and Katz, L.F. (2010) also pointed out in their study on American MBA graduates that career interruption and working hours were the main drivers affecting the salary gap. In general, taking part-time jobs has stalled women's work. For college graduates, work experience was a decisive factor in explaining the post-delivery gap (Costa Dias, M., Joyce, R. and Parodi, F., 2020). Paul, G. (2008) also found in the study that the gender wage gap would gradually expand in the life cycle, especially when the arrival of children was closely related, and paid jobs for women would be negatively affected in terms of salary and employment rate.

2. Temporary employment and poverty

Van Lancker, W. (2012) studied the relationship between temporary employment and poverty from a European perspective, using the EU-SILC data of 24 European countries on the risk of temporary workers. Eu-silk used a sample of contract workers from 16 to 64 private households and coded individuals, families, and jobs. All other factors being equal, he found that temporary workers had a higher risk than regular workers, with lower wages being the main factor. In addition, women in temporary employment have a lower risk of poverty than men. Age, education and family characteristics are determinants of poverty risk.


Gender differences in postnatal rates of full-time and part-time paid work are important drivers of gender wage differences (Costa Dias, M., Joyce, R. and Parodi, F. 2020). It can be found in the study that full-time work is an important factor in promoting wage growth and narrowing the gender wage gap. Research shows that simply encouraging or promoting more mothers to stay in work after childbirth will not be enough to reduce the gender wage gap significantly unless the causes of slow pay progress in part-time work are addressed. Public interventions to promote female employment and childbearing have indeed proved important in determining the female Labour market. We can identify three main policy tools that can effectively address the relevant issues: parental leave, childcare services, income support, and tax incentives (Olivetti, Petrongolo, 2017). A key challenge for future research is to address why part-time work holds back wage growth so much. Possibilities may include less training available, and a lack of informal interaction and networking opportunities.

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