Poverty is almost never monocausal, but multicausal, multi-dimensional, and complex. Here you will find detailed descriptions of various aspects of poverty, by which we essentially mean the causes and consequences of poverty. It must be taken into account that many of these aspects are mutually dependent and mutually reinforcing so that it is not always possible to distinguish precisely between causes and consequences. The different dimensions and causal layers should be shown here.
Because poverty often represents a bundle of symptoms, causes, and consequences that interlock and are interdependent, we also speak of the vicious circle of poverty, which is also presented here. Special attention is also paid to women and children who are particularly affected by poverty.
Poverty is female
Girls and women make up half of humanity, but being a girl or woman is no fun in many parts of the world. They do the greater part of the labor, but receive only a tenth of world income and own less than a hundredth of the property. The life expectancy of women in the “Third World” is on average 62 years, in the poorest countries it is only 52 years. (By way of comparison: life expectancy in industrialized countries is 79.4 years). More than half a million women die every year – that is one woman’s death every minute – as a result of pregnancy and inadequate childcare. Based on the birth statistics and the numerical ratio between men and women, 100 million more women should live on this earth today. Girl,
From the cradle to the grave, girls and women often experience rejection, disadvantage, and oppression, in the most varied social, cultural, and religious forms. In many cultures, the girl is undesirable and perceived as a burden. You attribute the consequences of the problem to its causes and the causes of the problem to its consequences: girls are worthless because they are a burden and they are a burden because they are worthless. A typical circular argument from which there is often no escape.
On the grounds that girls would marry into another family anyway and therefore could not contribute much to the livelihood of their own family, a daughter in many countries of the world receives less of everything than her brothers: less food, less care, less education. As a teenager, she has to work longer and is paid even less for it. Considered a financial burden by the family, it is not uncommon for them to be married off as a child. Being a girl means having fewer chances: to live and to survive.
The third Millennium Development Goal is: “Promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women”. Gender equality must be understood as an overarching and integrative task of development cooperation (mainstreaming). However, there are still considerable shortcomings in the implementation of political and legal obligations for gender equality in concrete measures. In the fight against poverty, the unwritten rule applies: “Women are the key to development.” Because it is above all they who are open to new ideas and who pass on appropriate practices to the next generation.
In many countries, it is customary to get girls married off early. In some cases, very young children are promised without the marriage actually taking place. But very often fertile girls are married at the age of 13, 14 or 15, often against their will. In Ethiopia, for example, a marriage at the age of eleven or twelve is not uncommon. Especially where the marriage of the daughter brings a bride price, poor families tend to marry the daughter for economic reasons, because they are then no longer responsible for her and have to look after her. A burden is taken from them. As soon as the marriage is agreed, future wives drop out of school because they are responsible for the kitchen and children instead of pursuing a career of their own. Their lifelong dreams are thus ruined, their alternatives to housework are now very limited, not only to their own disadvantage but, since they can hardly pass on education, also to the disadvantage of their children and the whole environment. Early marriage also leads to the motherhood of young teenagers. If the mothers are too young, there can be health-threatening complications, especially if the genitals are also circumcised. Early marriage is now seen as a disregard for human and women’s rights. These include the right to self-determination, the right to reproductive health, and the right to education. also to the detriment of their children and the whole environment. Early marriage also leads to the motherhood of young teenagers. If the mothers are too young, there can be health-threatening complications, especially if the genitals are also circumcised. Early marriage is now seen as a disregard for human and women’s rights. These include the right to self-determination, the right to reproductive health, and the right to education. also to the detriment of their children and the whole environment. Early marriage also leads to the motherhood of young teenagers. If the mothers are too young, there can be health-threatening complications, especially if the genitals are also circumcised. Early marriage is now seen as a disregard for human and women’s rights. These include the right to self-determination, the right to reproductive health, and the right to education. Early marriage is now seen as a disregard for human and women’s rights. These include the right to self-determination, the right to reproductive health, and the right to education. Early marriage is now seen as a disregard for human and women’s rights. These include the right to self-determination, the right to reproductive health, and the right to education.
The commercial sexual exploitation of children – the sale and use of children as sex objects – is a gross violation of children’s rights, destruction of their childhood, dignity, and health, with lifelong consequences. A multi-billion dollar industry degrades children to marketable consumer goods. An estimated one to two million children fall into the clutches of the illegal sex market every year. Many are kidnapped, sold, or otherwise “trafficked” in order to subsequently force them to engage in sexual acts, to keep them prisoner in brothels, or to rape them in front of the camera. Child sexual exploitation has many forms and facets. It ranges from internet pornography to child trafficking and commercial prostitution.
Pornography with children is becoming increasingly popular. Even men who would normally not harm a child enjoy forbidden pictures with children and thus promote an entire industry. Child pornography is a lucrative business with worldwide profits probably in the billions. With the “electronic revolution”, pornography, including child pornography and child abuse, is available to anyone with a computer with internet access. Rapid technological development has created new opportunities for the production, distribution, and consumption of child pornography. Today children can be “abused” without leaving their own four walls. Children are becoming a commodity that is more and more in demand.
Children are a sought-after commodity because they can be used to earn money. In a globalized world, human traffickers and smugglers are active across borders to kidnap, lure, sell, and “trade” children across borders. Children from Laos and Burma are sold to Thailand. Children from Southeast Asia can be found in Europe and North America. Girls from Eastern Europe are being smuggled into the West. In particular, children who live in poverty or have difficult family situations, whose homeland is affected by wars and armed conflicts, are sought out by traffickers and smugglers. It is not uncommon for the police and other authorities to be involved in criminal activities.
Children are abducted and forced into prostitution, often sold by their own parents (knowingly or unknowingly) to pimps or are even willing to sell their bodies themselves in order to meet material needs. Either way, they are to be viewed as victims – victims of a society and a man’s world that is willing to pay for exploitation and abuse. Commercial sexual exploitation in the form of prostitution has many aspects and traditions. In some countries, child prostitution is a widely accepted social phenomenon. For example in Thailand, which has long since become a popular holiday destination for Western customers. For a long time, they were able to attack minors in Germany without fear of prosecution. In many countries, child rape and sexual exploitation are tacitly tolerated without government action. The business with children’s bodies is booming. And because of fear of HIV / AIDS, there is an immense demand for younger, “unconsumed” children who – the customers hope – are not yet infected.
Even in the third millennium of the Christian era, the situation of the children of this world is frightening: every year around ten million children die of malnutrition. 150 million children under five do not have enough to eat. 100 million children do not go to school. 250 million children work, around a quarter of them under unreasonable, dangerous conditions. 30 million children are exploited – as child slaves or prostitutes. Around 300,000 children are forcibly recruited as soldiers and have to kill others under pressure to be shot themselves. The AIDS epidemic also contributes to the suffering of children: around 2,000 children under the age of 15 are infected with HIV every day. 15 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS. This is opposed to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was passed by the United Nations in the late 1980s. The Convention on the Rights of the Child has the greatest acceptance of all UN conventions. Nevertheless, the rights of children enshrined in it are still not being observed in many countries. According to information from the children’s aid organization UNICEF, almost half of the children worldwide live in poverty; that’s over a billion children. Almost every second child is missing the basic essentials for survival and development. Things that children in this country take for granted are often not available to children in poor countries: drinking water, sufficient food, medical help, school lessons, or a roof over their heads. Around 90 million children under the age of five are malnourished. 270 million children do not have even the simplest health care. Around 400 million children live without clean water and 500 million children cannot use sanitary facilities; 640 million children do not have a proper roof over their heads, more than 120 million children do not go to school and 300 million children have no access to radio, television or newspapers. The spread of AIDS makes the situation of children even worse. In southern Africa alone, the number of AIDS orphans rose from one million to over 12 million between 1990 and 2003. The spread of AIDS makes the situation of children even worse. In southern Africa alone, the number of AIDS orphans rose from one million in 1990 to over 12 million in 2003. The spread of AIDS makes the situation of children even worse. In southern Africa alone, the number of AIDS orphans rose from one million in 1990 to over 12 million in 2003.
Children in affluent countries do not suffer from the same deprivation as their peers in developing countries. Nevertheless, more and more children are living in relative poverty here too.
The vicious circle of poverty
By the vicious circle of poverty or the cycle of poverty, we understand the mutually dependent and intensifying causes and consequences of poverty. Poverty is a complex problem that can have many causes and numerous consequences. Sometimes poverty has only a single cause – for example, unemployment or dropping out of school – but numerous consequences. Some of the consequences of this poverty can appear as secondary causes and exacerbate, often even persist, poverty. If through this mutual conditioning and reinforcement, such a perpetuation of poverty occurs, it is possible that one cannot find one’s way out of this poverty trap. When that happens, it is called the vicious circle of poverty. As a rule, the person concerned cannot leave the vicious circle without outside help.
The vicious circle of poverty can be such that economic poverty leads to a family not having enough to eat and family members, especially children, to be malnourished. Hunger and malnutrition can lead to the fact that the children keep absent from school or have concentration problems at school, suffer from a decline in performance, leave school early without graduating, and thus do not have sufficient qualifications for good vocational training.
The further consequence would be that those affected would have to take on low-wage jobs, earn little, and also not be able to afford adequate housing. Such relationships often lead to chaotic living conditions such as alcohol consumption, drug abuse, marital problems, separation and divorce, violence, and child abuse. Unemployment can also be added. All of these factors only exacerbate the symptoms and consequences of poverty. A glaring example of the vicious cycle of poverty can be seen among the homeless. Those who are homeless do not get a job. If you don’t have a job, it will be very difficult to get an apartment or you won’t be able to afford one at all.
Causes and consequences of poverty
Poverty has many causes. Poverty is a complex and multidimensional problem. Causes, symptoms, and consequences condition and reinforce each other. Poverty is a problem of awareness and a problem of cultural conditioning.
One of the most important causes of absolute poverty is the underdevelopment of numerous rural population groups who, according to the old tradition, live on primitive agriculture (horticulture) or livestock farming and have no or only limited access to monetary income, people who get by without formal schooling or training hardly have an infrastructural connection to richer population groups with whom they can cultivate an economic exchange that would help them to a modest income. The main causes (but also consequences) of absolute poverty are the lack of money, but also the lack of work, income opportunities, education, and health.
Here the various (possible) causes of poverty are discussed, whereby it will be clarified in each case whether, instead of being the cause, they constitute poverty itself or rather the symptoms or even the consequences of poverty. Poverty is seldom monocausal, and mostly several factors cause and reinforce each other up to a vicious circle from which there is no escape without outside help.
But it can also be that poverty was caused by a single cause and that eliminating that cause is the end of poverty. If poverty is recognized as a monocausal phenomenon, it is possible that the person affected can free himself from it. In this respect, it is also possible that poverty is only a temporary condition.
Poverty and its causes can be viewed both as an individual fate and as a social condition. As such, the symptoms and causes of poverty of an entire class of poverty, a poor society, or a poor country must be considered.