The Individual Deprivation Measure: measuring poverty as if gender and inequality matter

Publication date

31 Jul 2015

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As inequality deepens globally and within countries it is vital that we know how poverty shapes, constrains, and often destroys the lives of women and men. We know from decades of research that poverty is experienced differently by women and men, yet existing mainstream measures of poverty have been blind to gender. This article focuses on the Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM), a multi-dimensional measure of poverty and inequality designed to illuminate rather than obscure gender differences. Developed over the past five years by an inter-disciplinary research team based at the Australian National University, the IDM is grounded in research with women and men across 18 sites in six countries. Unlike most mainstream measures of poverty, the IDM takes the individual, rather than the household, as the unit of analysis. As a result, the IDM is able to capture gendered differences in the ways poverty is experienced, and also differences according to other markers of identity or social status, such as age, ethnicity, or geographic location. This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis. For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.