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Towards a Gendered Human Poverty Measure


  • Elizabeth Durbin


This paper explores some of the practical, methodological, and conceptual problems of developing gendered human poverty measures. It concludes that estimates of a gendered human poverty index to compare with the human poverty index calculated by the UNDP can readily be calculated using existing data on women for short life span, for illiteracy, and for malnutrition among girls less than 5. It also recommends calculating the same measure for men. These separate indices for men and women could be further elaborated to incorporate additional dimensions of their health status and their respective access to sanitary conditions. For women data exist on maternal mortality rates and infant mortality, which are good indicators of their health status; others might be found for men and women on the incidence of diseases caused by unsafe water and on the proportion living in more sanitary conditions. Finally, additional indices reflecting further dimensions of female deprivation should be explored, in particular to include access to land, credit and housing, social participation and social status.

Suggested Citation

  • Elizabeth Durbin, 1999. "Towards a Gendered Human Poverty Measure," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 105-108.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:5:y:1999:i:2:p:105-108 DOI: 10.1080/135457099338003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, 1999. "What Does Feminization of Poverty Mean? It Isn't Just Lack of Income," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 99-103.
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