The Female Face of Poverty

Date Posted: Wednesday 18th July 2018

Our 2018 report looking at the causes and consequences of economic deprivation for women.



This is a report about the causes of poverty among women and the consequences that poverty has on women’s lives. It is part of a collaboration between the Women’s Budget Group (WBG) and five women’s organisations in Coventry to improve the support they provide disadvantaged women.

View / download a PDF of the report here.

View / download the executive summary.


To tackle and prevent women’s poverty, our recommendations are threefold:

Access to an independent and adequate income for all

  • Barriers to employment should be tackled by investment in childcare and adult social care, public transport and flexible and adaptable jobs .
  • Benefits should be designed to ensure that every individual within a household has access to a fair income
  • In addition to collecting data at the household level, statistical authorities (including the ONS and DWP) should collect and publish income data at the individual level.

Sharing care responsibilities and care costs more equally – within families and in society

  • Parental and paternity leave should be lengthened and adequately paid to ensure that men can take it . Maternity leave should be paid at the same higher rate.
  • Flexible working should be offered as an immediate right to all employees so that women and men can choose their right balance of work and family responsibilities. Differential use of flexible working by men and women should be monitored, and policies put in place to encourage more equal take up.
  • Investment in child and adult social care should be consistent and adequate to ensure that these services are high quality, affordable and available to all who need it.

Sustainable funding for specialist women’s organisations

  • Specialist local women’s organisations should be adequately funded to ensure that all women have access to relevant support.


Author of the report: Sara Reis, Research and Policy Officer at the Women's Budget Group.