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Many women in Wales at ‘significant’ risk of poverty, report finds

Many women in Wales are at “significant” risk of poverty, according to a report by gender equality charity Chwarae Teg.

The report, which was a collaboration with The Bevan Foundation, found the biggest causes of women being in poverty were loss of housing and relationship breakdowns.

It highlighted a culture of financial dependency where women are forced to rely on partners to supplement their income.

It said this is due to the social security system, childcare and housing.

Child and mum

The organisations blamed the risk of poverty getting worse on “the failure of public policy” to recognise the differences in the experience of poverty between men and women.

It also said women would need to work full-time to avoid poverty, and if they have children they would need to be in the best paid half of earners.

Women are being left without support to navigate complex and often contradictory systems, having to delicately balance their needs and responsibilities. This places women in an extremely precarious position, where any slight life change – an unexpected bill, a delayed payment, a relationship ending – could plunge them into poverty.

We hope that this research will provoke decision makers to create policies that work for women and men, and coordinate a public response encompassing social security, childcare, decent wages and work, and access to public services.

It is simply not acceptable that public policy is failing to address poverty for women in Wales.


The Bevan Foundation described the findings as a “scandal” and have called on the Welsh Government to take action.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We are working hard to tackle inequalities facing women and girls and to create a Wales where men and women fairly share power, resources and influence.”

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