Contemporary Polish Poverty and Gender

Jolanta Grotowska-Leder


The present paper addresses the issue of poverty as a gender specific phenomenon actual to the contemporary Polish society. The approach selected for the analysis is based on the concepts of female poverty and feminisation of poverty. The first section of the paper considers the two concepts as regards their origin, development and the present context globally, followed by an attempt to define them. The next sections focus on female poverty and poverty feminisation in Poland and allow for their demographic background, women position on the labour market and the feminisation of poverty in Poland in micro-perspective. The author aims to provide an answer to the question whether poverty feminization exists in Poland, having discussed exhaustive evidence, from quantitative and qualitative studies, for relevant socio-economic phenomena.

Słowa kluczowe

poverty; female poverty; feminisation of poverty; female unemployment; gender

Pełny tekst:



Agee L.M., Walker W.R., Feminization of Poverty in America, “Equal Opportunities International” 1991, Vol. 10/1.

Alcock P., Understanding Poverty, Houndmills-London 1993.

Baden S., Milward K., Gender Inequality and Poverty: Trends, Linkages, Analysis and Policy Implications, Report prepared for the Gender Equality Unit, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) 1997.

Bertraux D., Case Histories as a Method in Poverty Research [in:] The Social History of Poverty in Central Europe, J. Szalai (ed.), Budapest 1995.

Cagatay N., Gender and Poverty, United Nations Development Programme Working Paper Series 1998.

Carlson M., McLanahan S., Poverty and Gender in Highly Industrialized Nations [in:] International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, N. Smelser, P. Baltes (eds.), Oxford 2001.

Casper L., McLanahan S., Garfinkel I., The Gender Poverty Gap: What Can We Learn from Other Countries? , “American Sociological Review” 1994, No. 59.

Chant S., Re–thinking the “Feminization of Poverty” in Relation to Aggregate Gender Indices, “Journal of Human Development” 2006, Vol. 7(2).

Concise Statistical Yearbook of Poland, CSB, Warszawa 2008.

Daly M., Europe’s Poor Women? Gender in Research on Poverty, Unpublished Manuscript, received July 1 1990.

Davies H., Joshi H., Gender and Income Inequality in the UK 1968–1990: The Feminization of Earnings or of Poverty? , “Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics–in–Society)” 1998, No. 161(1).

Domański H., Zadowolony niewolnik idzie do pracy Polsce [The Grateful Slave Goes to Work], Warszawa 1992.

Domański H., Zadowolony niewolnik. Studium o nierownościach między mężczyznami a kobietami w Polsce [The Grateful Slave. Inequality between Men and Women in Poland], Warszawa 1992.

Garfinkel I., McLanahan S., Single Mother Families and Social Policy: Lessons for the U.S. from Canada, France and Sweden [in:] Poverty, Inequality and the Future of Social Policy, L.K. McFate, W. Wilson (eds.), New York 1995.

Garfinkel I., McLanahan S., Single Mother Families, Economic Insecurity, and Government Policy [in:] Confronting Poverty. S. Danziger, G. Sandefur, D. Weinberg (eds.), Cambridge 1994.

Grotowska-Leder J., Fenomen wielkomiejskiej biedy. Od epizodu do underclass [The Phenomenon of Urban Poverty. From Episode to Underclass], Łódź 2002.

Marklund S., Structures of Modern Poverty, “Acta Sociologica” 1990, No 2.

McLanahan S., Casper L., Sorensen A., Women’s Roles and Women’s Poverty in Eight Industrialized Countries [in:] Gender and Family Change in Industrialized Countries, K. Mason, A. Jensen (eds.), Oxford 1995.

Pearce D., The Feminization of Poverty: Women, Work and Welfare, “Urban and Social Change Review” 1978, No. 11.

Statistical Yearbooks of The Republic of Poland: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 2008, 2009, 2010, Warszawa.

United Nations, Resolution Adopted by the General Assembly on the Report of the Second Committee (A/50/617/Add.6) – Women in development, 9 February 1996, Fiftieth session, Agenda item 95 (f), General Assembly A/RES/50/104, New York 1996.

United Nations, Resolution Adopted by the General Assembly on the Report of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole of the Twenty–third Special Session of the General Assembly (A/S–23/10/Rev.1) – Further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, A/RES/S–23/3, 16 November 2000, Twenty–third special session, Agenda item 10, 00–65205, New York 2000.

Warzywoda-Kruszyńska W., Grotowska-Leder J., Krzyszkowski J., Lokalna polityka wobec biedy. Bieda poza granicami wielkiego miasta [The Local Policy towards Poverty. Poverty Outsider the City], Łódź 2003.

Warzywoda-Kruszyńska W., Grotowska-Leder J., Wielkomiejska bieda w okresie transformacji [The Urban Poverty in Transiotion Time], Łódź 1996.

Women in Poland, Central Statistical Office, Warszawa 2007.

Wright E.R., A Feminization of Poverty in Great Britain? A Clarification, Glasgow 2005.


  • There are currently no refbacks.