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feminization of poverty

Definition of Feminization of Poverty

(noun) The tendency for more women to live in poverty compared to men, and the factors that contribute to this phenomenon.

Feminization of Poverty Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: fem·i·ni·za·tion of pov·er·ty

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /fem-uh-nuh-zAY-shuhn uhv pAHv-uhr-tee/
  • British English – /fe-mi-nie-zAY-shuhn UHv pOv-uh-tee/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English: /ˌfɛmənəˈzeɪʃən əv ˈpɑvɚtɪ/
  • British English: /ˌfemɪnaɪˈzeɪʃ(ə)n ˈəv ˈpɒvətɪ/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: feminizations of poverty
  • Feminization of poverty has many causes, including child care costs; divorce and its effects; and government policies related to leave and other benefits (Wagner 2014:155).
  • Feminization of poverty can be studied at three levels: local, national, and global. In particular, the name given to this study at the global level is global feminization of poverty.
  • Variant spelling: feminisation of poverty

Related Quotation

  • “There is an ordering of versions of femininity and masculinity at the level of the whole society, in some ways analogous to the patterns of face-to-face relations with institution. the possibilities of variation, of course, are vastly greater. The sheer complexity of relationships involving millions of people guarantees that ethnic differences and generational differences as well as class patterns come into play. But in key aspects the organization of gender on the very large scale must be more skeletal and simplified than the human relationships in face-to-face milieux. The forms of femininity and masculinity constituted at this level are stylized and impoverished. Their interrelation is centred on the single structural fact, the global dominance of men over women” (Connell 1987:183).

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Additional Information

Related Terms


Connell, R. W. 1987. Gender and Power: Society, the Person, and Sexual Politics. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Wagner, Geraldine. 2014. “The Poor & the Working Poor.” Pp. 171–183 in Defining Class: Sociology Reference Guide, edited by Salem Press. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press.

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Cite the Definition of Feminization of Poverty

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2015. “feminization of poverty.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved July 18, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/feminization-of-poverty/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

feminization of poverty. (2015). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/feminization-of-poverty/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2015. “feminization of poverty.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed July 18, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/feminization-of-poverty/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“feminization of poverty.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2015. Web. 18 Jul. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/feminization-of-poverty/>.