Poverty in Barbados is highest among households headed by women, which accounts for approximately 47.5 per cent of all households.
A new Country Gender Assessment (CGA) survey shows that the rate of poverty in female-headed households was 19.4 per cent, compared to 11.5 per cent in male-headed households and 15 per cent in all households.
The survey also found that as at December 2012 unemployment among both gender was similar with male accounting for approximately 7.9 per cent and about 7.5 per cent for female.
The findings, which were presented to stakeholders at the Caribbean Development Bank earlier this week, also showed that women represent the majority of people who earn less than $500 per week, while their male counterparts are the majority in all income brackets of $500 and
more a week.
The 116-page document was prepared with the assistance of data that was readily available from the Barbados Census, Labour Force Surveys and a variety of research papers from the university of the West Indies and other entities, and they showed “clear evidence of gender inequality in a
variety of areas”.
“The research analyzed, that indicated that boys and men participate less and do not perform as well in examinations as girls, has been used to develop major reforms to the public education system with the move towards technical, vocational and competency-based training. Other evidence, notably showing large and persistent economic inequalities between men and women, mostly to the detriment of women, has apparently not affected policy sufficiently for any tangible impact on these inequalities. This may be related to a misguided belief that social and economic policy models used to date to generate gains in human development in Barbados are sufficient to eliminate gender inequalities, as shown in the statements in some interviews on gender neutrality,” it said.
The recommendation was that the CGA was a starting point that could be use for the development of economic and social policy in a number of areas.
The document added that “the wealth of existing data and research in Barbados should continuously be analyzed for emerging gender trends deserving of reorientation of policy.”