An estimated 87 million women and girls are living in extreme poverty in 2020 in India and this number is expected to increase to around 100 million by 2021 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic , as per new data released recently by UN women and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The data is part of a UN Women report — “From Insights to Action: Gender Equality in the wake of COVID-19”. The report on 129 countries shows that the pandemic will push 96 million people into extreme poverty by 2021, 47 million of whom are women and girls.
Citing the India data, it said that the pre-pandemic poverty rate for females was 13.3% vs 12.1% for males.
By 2021, 14.7% women and girls will be living in extreme poverty in India in comparison to 13.7% men.
As per the report extreme poverty, defined as living on less than $1.90 a day, is expected to increase substantially due to Covid-19 at the global level. These estimates of poverty by sex and age are based on a sample of 129 countries and areas accounting for 89% of the global population, where extreme poverty is most applicable. The regional coverage majorly includes central and southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa as well as some countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In India, the poverty rate for women aged 25 to 34 is estimated to be 12% in 2020, equivalent to around 13.4 million women aged 25 to 34 living in extreme poverty. By 2021, the poverty rate of women aged 25-34 is expected to increase to 14% bringing the total count to 15.2 million. These numbers translate into 120 extreme poor women for every 100 poor men in 2021, a ratio that is expected to worsen to 129 poor women per 100 poor women in 2030. It is stated that at the current pace, it will take India another 37 years to close the gender poverty gap among individuals of ages 25 to 34. ( TOI )