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Female-headed single-parent households and poverty in Costa Rica

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Female-headed single-parent households and poverty in Costa Rica

Author: Gindling, T.H. - Oviedo, Luis Physical Description: páginas. 117-128 Date: April 2008 ECLAC symbol: LC/G.2357-P


Average real family incomes rose in Costa Rica in the late 1990 sand at the start of the new decade, but poverty rates did not fall. Hereit is argued that economic growth in the country did not translate intoreduced poverty during this period because of changes that took placein household structure and in the labour market, and that these changeshad an important gender dimension Specifically, a rising proportion offemale-headed single-parent households led to an increase in the numberof women with children entering the labour force, many of them for thefirst time. Many of these mothers were unable to find or unwilling toaccept full-time work in the higher-paying formal sector and ended upunemployed or working part-time as self-employed workers. These labourmarket phenomena contributed to low incomes for vulnerable households,especially single-parent households headed by women.