The feminisation of poverty


My speech in the plenary of the European Parliament on 5 July 2022

The feminisation of poverty in Europe has taken on worrying proportions, not least because of the pandemic. Since the mid-1970s, women's studies have been operating with the thesis that poverty is feminine.

More than half of single mothers live in poverty and work in precarious conditions. We must do all we can to end the degradation of women in the context of the gender division of labour, in the context of discrimination in the labour market and in the social security system.

Upgrading is the keyword: Instead of a gender-specific wage gap, there must be equality or, first of all, the explicit upgrading of women. Single or older women, as well as single mothers and otherwise caring people, must be seen as a social compass for solidarity and public spirit.

In Europe, women from non-European backgrounds, especially Roma women and women of African or Arab descent, are doubly discriminated against. This is a sign that even in the context of gender justice, they are doubly disadvantaged because they are in insecure and low-paid jobs.

This is a sign that, also in the context of gender equality, the jobs they hold need to be upgraded. Upgrading these types of jobs is a challenge that the Action Plan must address.