Denial and Distress: Gender, Poverty and Human Rights in Asia

Paperback
According to the UNDP Human Development Report 1997 more than 950 million of the 1.3 billion people who are income poor in developing countries live in Asia. The World Bank estimates that women make up 70% of this total. But where is the rigorous research behind the claim that poverty is feminised? In Denial and Distress the authors analyse the gender-differentiated impact of globalization and conflict on women and men in the various parts of Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. They provide empirical evidence that not only is the incidence of poverty increasingly more severe among women than men, but that the dimensions of women's poverty and the causes or process of their poverty are different from those of poor men. The authors analyse the dilemma facing development agencies: should their focus be on gender and poverty? Or does that linkage serve to push issues of gender discrimination and human rights off the agenda? They argue that in the South and Central Asian context, gender, poverty and human rights are intricately related. The challenge for development agencies in Asia is to address the deep-rooted gender-specific causes of poverty, rather than the symptoms: strengthening women's land rights and endowments, challenging inegalitarian kinship systems, enhancing women's democratic participation are all central to the dual goal of reducing the poverty of women while at the same time promoting and protecting their human rights. This book will be useful for government and NGO policy makers, planners, researchers and students working on development issues in Asia.