Five Minutes on Gender and Poverty

More than 1 billion people in the world live in poverty.

And most of them are women. 

This fact weighs heavy on my heart and slips my mind all too frequently. Living in the US, certainly many of us are aware of the overt oppression of women's wages in the workplace and discrimination against those who take maternity leave. While these issues are entirely relevant and in pursuing their reconciling we are entirely just, they represent a sliver of the larger situation that is the intersection of gender and poverty. 

I found this infographic by the UN Women's Commission to be concise and super helpful. 


Women comprise over 70% of those earning less than $1.50 a day (PCI Global).

Women spend 10x the amount of time men do on unpaid work including child rearing, tending for the sick, and caring for the elderly (ActionAid).

Women reinvest 90% of their income into their family whereas men reinvest only 10%, estimated (The Girl Effect).

For more information, check out this comprehensive article by Global Citizen.


There's some progress in awareness -  from groups like the World Bank recognize the importance of gender equality in the economy - and in action -like the cellphone project organized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

And there are programs (HINT: like the ones Tirzah partners with!) who are doing amazing work to decrease poverty in their area by empowering women through finance, literacy training, education, and business training.

Check out a few of our programs here!


Emma + Team Tirzah



SIDE NOTE: Poverty is real in the US too! 

The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation reports that in every single state in America, there is a larger population of impoverished women than of men. For further reading on the gender poverty gap in the United States, I recommend this paper from Legal Momentum,  this brief article from American Progress highlighting some interesting census graphics, and this overview from the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research. 

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