The Feminization of Global Poverty: How Can Philosophy Help?
Launching of a new research project
Alison M. Jaggar, philosopher and professor at University of Colorado, Boulder, and at CSMN, UiO, launches a new research project
Elisabeth L’Orange Fürst (SAI,UiO)
Aud Talle (SAI,UiO)
It is often said that global poverty wears a woman’s face. But what standards or metrics are used to identify the poor, who selects those standards, and how is the selection justified?
This talk will sketch some of the ways in which existing poverty metrics likely obscure the full extent of gendered poverty. It will then describe a research project whose aim is to develop an alternative poverty metric.
The new metric will be more sensitive to the gendered dimensions of poverty and capable of revealing them more accurately.
Determining who is rich and who is poor is not exclusively a matter for economics and the social sciences. It involves more than merely observing the world to discover who has plenty and who is deprived. Identifying the rich and poor also relies on value judgments about which things people need to avoid poverty and how much of these things they need. Such important value judgments, which are used to guide policies regarding welfare payments and foreign aid, should be supported by moral reasoning that is sound and transparent. However, many existing poverty metrics are arbitrary and lack any clear moral justification. Moral philosophy is needed to explain how poverty metrics may be justified and who should have the authority to determine those metrics.
The Fempov researchers are an interdisciplinary team that includes both social scientists and moral philosophers. We are working collaboratively with poor men and women to develop a new global poverty metric that reflects the experience and priorities of poor people in poor countries.