EU, Poverty has a woman's face

Still a long way to go in fight against poverty, especially among women. In Europe, poverty has a woman's face. A recent study by the European Parliament says that the risk of poverty for parents with dependent children is higher for single mothers than men in the same situation: 19%  compared to 17%, respectively. The rates of poverty among women are different across member states, 7% in Denmark, and 30% in Romania. In Italy 24%.

Particularly at risk of falling into poverty are migrant women (33%) and single mothers (34%). Female poverty in Italy is comprised by 32% of women who left their own country of origin and of 41% of single mothers. Greece has the highest percentage migrant women in poverty, 52%, followed by Spain (47%), Belgium (39%), France and Luxembourg (35%). Greece also has the highest rate among single mothers 57% .

Part time jobs for women

Significant and worrying is the rate of women that work in part time jobs, 38% compared to only 5% of men. Furthermore in some countries, women in part time jobs are more than half of women employed: Netherlands (84%), Germany (74%), Austria (61%), Luxembourg and Belgium (50%). But working part time it is not sufficient to escape poverty. More than 20% of children live with single or migrant mothers in the majority of member states. Children who live in poor conditions and without any job affiliation are usually victims of social exclusion, will hand down the risk of poverty to future generations. Social  exclusion means no access to public transports, no health assistance and no decent houses. Young women and young men with temporary contracts and who are self employed are more apt to fall into poverty.

Crisis impact

At the moment Europe counts 123 million people who are at risk of poverty. Even if the number of women is constantly higher, around 65.1 million compared to 58.8 million men, between 2008 and 2013 there was an evident progressive increase in the number of men at risk of hardship, around 3.6 million more compared to previous years, according to Eurostat data.

Furthermore the number of people who at the moment are deprived of  any resources is impressing: 47.6% in Europe. Since the beginning of the crisis the number of people increased by 6 million, but also in this case women are the most hit and they are 2.2 million more than men. A quite sad conclusion emerges from the research: gender equality is still too far from policies of the member states, such as the fight against the “feminization of the poverty”.


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