40% of ethnic minority women in poverty

By Liz Stephens

Twice as many ethnic minority women live in poverty in the UK than white women, according to a report by the Fawcett Society.

The report, in association with Oxfam and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, claims that poverty extends to more than a third of Black women and almost two thirds of Pakistani and Bangladeshi women.

The depressing statistics are set to continue as the recession will lock ethnic minority women into destitution, Fawcett said.

“It is vital that we move beyond simple generalisations using parallel lines of gender and ethnicity when differences in experiences of poverty among women and between ethnic groups can be vast,” said Julia Unwin, chief executive of the Joseph Rowantree Foundation.

Fawcett and Oxfam say the report was created due to “concerns” that the government was developing anti-poverty strategies in an “information vacuum”.

The report calls for a radical policy shift, criticising the notion that paid employment is a panacea for poverty.