The Poverty Of Older Women

1304 Words Jun 8th, 2015 6 Pages
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…
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 & Boyd, 2011, pp. 84-85). Pension calculations are based on years of contribution and earnings. This puts women at a great disadvantage given that women bear most of the household and family responsibilities, which affects their available time to work.
As a result of gender inequalities in the family, women who have experienced a divorce at the age of 45 and older may have very little work experience. For these women it may not be easy to re-enter the labour market, or in some instances enter it for the very first time. These women may only be able to find low wage, unskilled jobs in the

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