Combating Poverty Essay

1297 words - 5 pages

For some poverty is a way of life the day to day struggle of keeping food on the table and clothes on their back. For others it is something that is seen only on television, and even then it is not so easy to comprehend. This is usually the case with families who are well to do and money is not an issue. They may describe the characteristics of poverty as to not have certain materialistic items such as clothes, cars, accessories etc. However to someone living in those circumstances it may mean not having the basic necessities of life. What causes this to happen in society? How do people and families reach such a state of desperation? Well there are many reasons as to why this happens; poverty can be attributed to a changing society whereby the cost of living increases and the wages stay the same. It seems logical, if the income per household is lower than the standard of living it then places a family in a position of challenge to meet the needs of everyday life.

Poverty is a very broad topic which can and will be broken down for the purpose of this paper. Again it is asked, what causes people be introduced to an impoverished life? Well there are many variables that can be equated into the problem but for the function of this essay the focus will be gender, poverty and paid work. There are factors that make each of these variables unique from one another however, I will attempt to show that they do collectively work together and is the foundation from which poverty stems.

Historically looking back, at the construct of society, which has always been patriarchal there has been a continuous gender separation between men and women. Men were seen as the sole breadwinners for a family while the women were seen as homemakers who were to stay at home to nurture and care for the children. This

separation of gender can also be looked at as the idea of labour; men in the public sphere, the paid workforce and women in the private sphere the unpaid labour. This idea is rooted from one key ideology in the sociological world, and is referred to as Materialism which is "concerned with the conflicts between those social classes that own and control the means and distribution of economic production and scarce resources and those classes that do not" (Nelson and Robinson 88). With this in mind one can basically see quite clearly that women are going to be much more vulnerable to being poor than men. Looking at the current society it has been noted by statistics Canada that for every five women one is living in poverty, which equals 2.8 million women (Criaw 1). This includes all categories of women single parent mothers, single women, women with disabilities and even seniors.

The three articles which were chosen and going to be discussed for this paper are "Runaway jobs leave a city gasping" by Pat Currie who looks at the recent announcement for the closing of the Navistar truck plant in Chatham next summer which will leave many people without...

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