BANGKOK (TrustLaw) – Women workers in Asia face the risk of “persistent vulnerability, poverty and exploitation” despite a recovering economy and their huge potential due to prejudice, according to a report by the International Labour Organisation and Asian Development Bank. A large majority of women here are stuck in lower-end, lower-pay jobs in vulnerable, informal and insecure sectors with little social protection and at the lowest rung of the global supply chain, it said. While progress has been made in past decades addressing gender inequalities, “discrimination against women remains pervasive throughout the labour markets of the region,” Women and labour markets in Asia: Rebalancing Gender Equality said. According to the report, the Asia Pacific region is losing $24 billion to $47 billion annually because of women’s limited access to employment opportunities and another $16 billion to $30 billion as a result of gender gaps in education. Also listen to the following radio broadcast on Radio Australia http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/connectasia/stories/201104/s3203663.htm
Although the poverty gender gap is higher than any other developed country, the “feminization of poverty” is a global problem. This is not because women do less work. Quite the opposite: Women produce half of the world’s food and by some estimates work two-thirds of the world’s working hours. Women and men did different work based on the demands of childbearing and the community’s reproduction, but all people were valued for their contributions to the survival of their society. Women were held in the highest esteem. Once society separated into social classes, however, women were pushed into a subordinate role. Men dominated private property and its inheritances from generation to generation. Women became the property of their fathers and husbands in the same way that slaves were the property of their owners. Women, both enslaved and free, were largely without independent property and legal rights. Under feudalism, the product of their labours, both in the home and outside of it, was controlled by the men.
People who live in poverty are at increased risk of mental illness compared to their economically stable peers. Their lives are stressful. They are both witness to and victims of more violence and trauma than those who are reasonably well off, and they are at high risk of poor general health and malnutrition. The converse is also true: When people are mentally ill, they are at increased risk of becoming and/or staying poor. They have higher health costs, difficulty getting and retaining jobs, are less productive at work, and suffer the social stigma and isolation of mental illness. There are different types of interventions undertaken in several low and middle-income places. The authors first looked at programs intended to improve individual or family economic status and monitored changes in measures of mental health including stress and depression in adults, childhood behavior problems, childhood cognitive development, and adolescent self-esteem.
Water is essential for life. Safe, abundant water is vital to our ability to prosper and fulfilled our potential. Without it, we face a continual decline in our well-being. No access to clean water, and almost no access to clean sanitation, causing widespread suffering from malaria, typhoid, dysentery and many other diseases. These illness not only stop people working, going to school and causing pain but they kill many more young children before the age of 5 than happens in the developed world. They also kill people younger so children are left without parents and people in work die off leaving projects unfinished, and expertise gaps. Apart from this effect upon our health, the loss of productivity that results from water-related illnesses holds back our progress. Population is growing rapidly each year, but the lack of safe water and sanitation reduces our economic growth at twice that rate. And a growing population must be properly fed. We need to increase our water production by half. How will we achieve this without reducing the amount and quality of the remaining water resources which we will need for drinking and sanitation? Clearly, the provision of sustainable, clean water for our people should be high priority. Sustainable supplies of water, its better management and protection are the key to this success - just as increased agricultural productivity holds the key to spreading prosperity and our other development goals.
Education is the brightest hope for breaking the cycle of multi-generational poverty. But, kids born to poor, under-educated parents aren't likely to succeed at school without help that targets their family situations, and that help is most needed during their earliest years. Newborn was born poor, and nearly half of those babies went on to spend at least half of their childhood in poverty. Poor children were born into "deep poverty" to parents living on incomes less. Parents' low educational attainment was shown to predict persistent poverty for their children more consistently than any other factor the study investigated including single motherhood, family unemployment, young age of parents or living in inner-city neighborhoods. Earning a high school diploma can help break the cycle of multi-generational poverty, but persistent poverty makes earning that diploma a tough challenge. Children who spend more than half of their childhoods poor are more likely than never-poor children to enter their 20s without completing high school. Poverty strikes its most innocent victims hardest of all. Stresses associated with poverty including malnutrition, lack of mental stimulation, poor health care, frequent moving and general insecurity have their direst effect on newborns and children up to age two. Children who live in poverty in those first years of life are likely to complete high school than children who became poor later in childhood. I think what this report is saying is that early interventions are very important and targeting resources to these kids from birth is vital, because home environment in early years is so important to brain development. So when parents are stable, kids are stable.
Annual food survey shows that households are ditching fresh, healthy foods and 'trading down' to counter rising prices
The UK's poorest households are being disproportionately hit by the impact of soaring food prices, according to new government figures that also show the consumption of every major nutrient has fallen in the last four years.
In order to cut costs since 2007, UK households have bought less bread, lamb, beef, fish, fruit, vegetables, potatoes and alcoholic drinks – but more bacon.
The government's annual Family Food survey, which provides the most detailed annual snapshot of food and drink spending and consumption, found that weekly spending per person on all household food in 2011 was £27.99, an increase of 1.5% on the previous year. But because of price rises, that bought less food - 4.2% less in 2011 than in 2007.
Some countries with poverty benefitted from a tropical climate with lush vegetation and a diverse range of crops that grow all year round. This highlights just how important agriculture is to reducing poverty in some countries. As those who have poverty will have the vegetation and crops that they got and they can eat without searching for any vegetation and crops desperately. So the lesser the vegetation and crops import from other countries, the higher the price it can be. The country should be part of the biggest exporters of a variety of products, and a much larger proportion of peoples should reap the fruits of this trade. In general, whenever the country experiences periods of economic growth, they match improvements in agriculture. It provides tons of food, jobs, raw material for other sectors (e.g. cattle) and higher income. Even today as the service sector is taking off; agriculture remains an important aspect in the country’s economy. Several studies confirmed what was obvious to everyone: people with larger farm land, those with access to loans or production assets, as well as people closer to local markets all showed much lower poverty rates than the rest. Integrating thousands of households into local markets and teaching more advanced agricultural techniques are also essential aspects to reducing poverty in some countries. In many ways this implies more government intervention, at least to invest in basic infrastructure such as roads and cheap public transportation so that people are given the opportunity to go to town and sell their crops.