Essay about What's Poverty?

955 Words 4 Pages
There is no universal definition of poverty; as deprivation and destitution are terms founded on varying individual or societal perceptions. Nevertheless, ‘Poverty’ in its most general sense is often categorised as a lack of the necessities which provide survival and allow the upholding of human dignity. This can involve a scarcity of basic food, shelter, health care, and safe living environment (Stevenson, 2014). Poverty not only prevents people from buying the things they need, it is about stress, poor health, sub-standard housing, lack of facilities, inadequate infrastructure, fear of crime, and problems associated with the stigma of living in a deprived area (Tomlinson & Walker, 2009). Whilst definitions of …show more content…
This is particularly evident in the cases of single mothers and low-paid workers (Jarvis & Gardner, 2009).

Data from the Department for Work and Pensions analysed by Gingerbread (2013) states that children from lone parent families are twice as likely as children in couple families to live in relative poverty. These findings are set against the median weekly income for lone parent families working 16 hours a week or more, which is £337, compared with £491 for couple families with one worker and £700 where both parents work. However, paid work is not a guaranteed route out of poverty for lone parents; as the poverty rate for lone parent families’ working part-time is 31% and 17% where the parent works full-time. In lone parent families, these hardships are far more likely to be experienced by single mothers as they outnumber single fathers by over 90%. In addition to the increased likelihood of poverty brought on by family breakdown, single mothers are victimised even further by an employment market which still pays women 15% less than men overall; further decreasing the probability of single mothers being able to work their way out of poverty (Trades Union Congress, 2013).

According to research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2013), most people in low-paid employment are unable to work their way out of relative poverty. Many aspire to move up the career ladder but often feel trapped due to increasingly informal workplace practices by managers, who

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