Women are at a higher risk of living in poverty than men because of Gender socialization

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Women are at a higher risk of living in poverty than men because of Gender socialization

Aim/Hypothesis: Despite decades of Feminism women are still at a higher risk of living in poverty and are experiencing a Feminisation of poverty. Research indicates that this is because of limitations created by gendered expectations and ideologies about motherhood. Oppenheim (1993) states that women are more likely to be employed in temporary or casual work and are more likely to be low paid. The aim is to explore the impact of gender socialization on women’s risk of living in poverty. As I am a female I am interested in this issue as it may have an impact on me later on in life.


Context/Concepts: Feminists believe women are often inferior to men in many aspects of life because society is constructed of gender inequalities with patriarchal dominance. (Allan) “Females are chronologically disadvantaged from the start by socially constructed framework of values and norms which constraint her options.”

Walby (1990) examines the extent to which the welfare state upholds patriarchy. Her research shows that various welfare legislation is not really enforced and maintains subordination by placing women second in a patriarchal society. Welfare legislation like the Beveridges plan which aimed to bring an end to poverty actually put women at a disadvantage as it emphasized on incentive to marry by assuming a “family wage” for men.  Women who do not marry are neglected from these benefits. Walby argues that although legislation is changing and no longer directed at confining women to the home the state is still patriarchal.

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Feminists suggest that because of patriarchal ideology that exist in society those who are being subjected to unfair treatment will rarely be aware of it and challenge it. Males are seen as the dominant gender and this is the way society operates. Women will accept the higher status of men and consequently higher status and income jobs. This concept will be operationalised to see if the ideologies are what constrain women’s position.

Glendinning and Millar (1994) see poverty as the result of Gender socialization. Their research shows that women are disadvantaged in the labour market because they are ...

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