The Poverty Of Older Women

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Studies have shown economic disparities between unmarried women, women who are married, and those who are divorced or separated later in life. Each of these women will experience a different standard of living and financial well-being based on the circumstances of their life course. (193) In 2008 women living alone had the highest rate of low income with an after tax poverty rate of 18% for women and 12% for men. Studies show that separated and divorced women are the poorest of all older unattached women in Canada and the group that should be the focus of public concern. In this paper I will discuss the key factors contributing to the poverty of older women in Canada, which are marital status, gender inequalities in the family,…show more content…
Widowers, tend to be worse off than those who were never married, but better off than those who were separated or divorced in mid and later years. This is because widows can benefit from husbands’ assets left to them, and to receive some protection from C/QPP. Going through a separation or divorce in mid and later life increases the likelihood of an elderly woman living in poverty. A woman who is married may rely on her husband’s financial resources for security later in life. As such, she may not do any retirement planning of her own. A woman who divorces later in life is left with a very short and unrealistic amount of time to build up her own savings before turning 65. These women are less likely to receive pension income and their average economic family income from pensions is much lower than that of married men and women or even divorced or separated men. Retired divorcees are least likely of all women to rate their income as adequate to meet their needs. Gender Inequalities In The Family (207) Women are more likely to be faced with occupational segregation and pay gaps, as well as to be burden with unpaid work responsibilities at home, creating a weaker labour force attachment and less access to work related pensions in retirement (Kaida &
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