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  Home : White Papers : Women and Poverty

Women and Povertywomen living in poverty

Soroptimist International of the Americas, working to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world, examines the issue of women and poverty in this white paper. Of the 1.2 billion people worldwide living in abject poverty (less than $1 a day), 70 percent are women. Women worldwide are denied opportunities needed to improve their economic and social condition, such as property and inheritance rights, and access to education and jobs. They also face discrimination through cultural traditions that perpetuate social exclusion. At the same time, they have the responsibility for care of children, the elderly and disabled. These many conditions contribute to the “feminization of poverty” and explain why a growing number of women and single female-headed families are living in poverty. Governments, NGOs and international institutions must be committed to addressing the myriad issues that keep women in poverty. Fortunately, there is a growing understanding in the international aid community that assisting women has the added benefit of helping families, communities, nations and the world.

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