Poverty does not treat everyone equally.

Women, children, gender minorities, and people of color are often hardest hit, meaning that people who have been systematically oppressed must work even harder to achieve their human rights and meet their human needs. And while women in poverty experience the same issues that all people in poverty experience— income inequality, unemployment, poor health, violence, trauma, and more—the odds are often uniquely stacked against them in gendered ways.

This year’s report on Illinois poverty, The Gender Disadvantage: Why Inequity Persists, exposes how gender, gender identity, and gender norms shape experiences of poverty for women and gender minorities—and how women who have other marginalized identities experience even more inequity.

The damage from intersecting oppressions is profound: systemic sexism, racism, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, ableism, worker exploitation, mass incarceration, gender violence, and more work together to set back women and gender minorities. And these systemic forces have marginalized people across generations, deepening inter-generational gaps in poverty, wealth, and other outcomes. 

If we hope to address gender poverty, the wealth gap and create opportunities, we must also fight for bold social and policy changes that break down barriers for people of color, immigrant, low-wage workers, LGBTQ people and ALL in our communities.