Global Resources

Power and Privileges - on Gender Discrimination and Poverty and Power and Privileges

Author: G. Johnsson-Latham
Publisher: Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden
Publication Date: Feb 2004
How can mainstream approaches to poverty analysis become more gender-sensitive? These two texts highlight the ways in which mainstream approaches to poverty analysis overlook the differences in how women and men experience poverty. Power imbalances between women and men are identified as the principle barrier, where existing power structures favour men and therefore overlook the costs to women of poverty in terms of death, violence and lack of respect. Some issues highlighted include that there is unequal resource distribution within families, particularly poor ones; and there are no 'neutral' poverty reduction strategies, since where gender is overlooked, existing gender inequality will be reproduced, invariably leaving women in relative disadvantage. Recent legislation coming out of Sweden emphasises the need for a rights-based approach to tackling women's poverty and their right to equality This main report is accompanied by 'Interim Studies', which provide a more in-depth analysis of some of the main issues raised in the report, particularly existing measures of female versus male poverty and deprivation and how these affect efforts to improve health and reduce poverty.