Sunday, April 22, 2007

The feminine face of poverty

Dorothea Lange's pictures of migrant families dramatized the plight of agricultural workers during the Great Depression and lent support for New Deal legislation. Her most well-known picture is titled "Migrant Mother," taken in 1936 in California.

The woman in the photo is Florence Owens Thompson, but Lange apparently never knew her name.

Seventy percent of those living in absolute poverty in our world -- that is starving or on the edge of starvation -- are female.

In the United States, women and children are the mass of the poor and the poorest of the poor.

There's a reason poverty so disproportionately hits women. Most poor women were, or still are, caregivers. And we've got an economic system that gives no value to this essential work when it's done in the home.

Read more of Riane Eisler's* commentary on how we can change what she calls "this bizarre way of looking at what is, and is not, productive work" over at Alternet.
* Riane Eisler is the author of The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics and and president of the Center for Partnership Studies.


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