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Women’s Empowerment among the Extremely Poor: Evidence from the Impact Evaluation of Red UNIDOS in Colombia

Susana Martínez-Restrepo (), Juan Camilo Mejía () and Erika Enriquez ()
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Laura Ramos-Jaimes and Susana Martinez-Restrepo

Informes de Investigación from Fedesarrollo

Abstract: Currently, 9.1 per cent of Colombia’s population lives in extreme poverty. Poverty is more prevalent in rural areas, where it reaches 19.1 per cent (DANE 2012). In Colombia women are more affected by extreme poverty than men, which can be explained by gender gaps in the labour market. While female labour force participation in urban areas is 57.8 per cent, male labour force participation is almost 17 percentage points higher at 74.5 per cent. Among the extremely poor population, only 31.9 per cent of women in urban areas participate in the labour market. Job informality among extremely poor women can reach as high as 90 per cent (DANE 2013). How then can we help women living in extreme poverty achieve greater economic empowerment? A diagnostic study revealed that the most vulnerable population was not benefiting from government services created to improve their socio-economic conditions. This was due to a lack of information, a lack of identification and a lack of empowerment, as well as distance to the supply of services (Nunez and Cuesta 2006). Furthermore, evidence from Chile Solidario also suggests that extremely poor families lack the fundamental organisational skills for their own development; therefore, more than financial support, they also need psychosocial support (Galasso 2011). Armed with this evidence, Colombia created Red UNIDOS (previously Red JUNTOS) in 2009 as the government strategy to alleviate extreme poverty.

Keywords: Mujeres Desplazadas y en Extrema Pobreza; Pobreza; Mujeres; Mercado de Trabajo; Protección Social; Red UNIDOS; Extrema Pobreza; Colombia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D12 I32 I38 J30 J46 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 37
Date: 2015-09-30
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev and nep-hme
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