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Feminization of poverty in Ukraine: background, causes and effects

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This paper x-rays the presence and nature of feminization of poverty in Ukraine, exposing its background, causes and effects. Feminization of poverty which is the process of the female gender being more vulnerable to poverty is mainly driven by factors such as gender inequalities in making decisions; in the labour market, disparities in earnings and the roles of women in Ukrainian society. Women fared better during the Soviet era in Ukraine because everybody had to work. Nevertheless, despite the fact that they were employed in the public sector, they were also saddle with the responsibility of handling domestic affairs.

This dual function made them underperform in the public sector, which yielded money unlike the domestic sector, which was demanding and unpaid for. The years following the collapse of the USSR were marked by changes, which had negative effects of exclusion and lack of women in the country. The impact of women’s child bearing roles and domestic responsibilities has made them suffer more then men from the general hardship and worsening economic situation. Some causes were identified under the following subtopics: Economic/Labour, Political/Decision making, Family composition/Demography and Choice/Attitude (Agency), while the effects include: forceful exit from labour market, Inadequate nutrition, inadequate access to proper medical care, low participation in contesting for electoral positions, few women in leadership/decision making positions in public and private sectors especially big businesses.

Recommendations which include more participation in political activities and aiming at high political positions, reduction in segregation in the labour market by ensuring gender balance, engagement of both male and female partners in domestic activities and better wage and position bargaining and so on were made.

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