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These include (1) the growth and emergence of female/women-headed households, (2) inequalities between households and discrimination against girls and women and, and (3) economic policies that lean heavily towards neo-liberalism, including structural changes and transitions in post-socialist markets (Kottak 82). Kottak argues that increasing visibility of poverty among women is deeply rooted in political economies, cultural trends and demographic patterns. He states that there are huge regional variations in the financial and economic status of women-headed households, and this is primarily influenced by women’s access to property and employment, political regimes and social policies.
Kottak also states that inequalities between households have been found to worsen the state of women’s rights in terms of their vulnerability (105). This manifests in form of inequalities in resource allocation to households and a lack of decision-making in important spheres like legal codes, public policy and development. Inadequate access to property rights (in land), employment, illiteracy, poor wages, childbearing, early marriages have also proved detrimental to the empowerment of women and the realization of their rights. The expansion of female/women-headed households has been found to be influential in the exacerbation of women’s poverty, and although this has not been proved in most parts of the world, the United States offers a stark example of what may eventually be the situation in a majority of countries. In the US, feminization of poverty is closely linked to the growth of female-headed households especially among low-income females in terms of insufficient social support (Kottak 74)
It has been established that neoliberal economic policies have a tendency and potential to induce poverty and hence have adverse effects on girls and women.
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