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Jobless men at higher risk of poverty than women

Malta with second highest gender poverty gap

Valletta's Republic Street. Photo: Shutterstock

Valletta's Republic Street. Photo: Shutterstock

Unemployed Maltese men have a higher chance of being at risk of poverty than women, according to a report published yesterday by the European Institute for Gender Equality.

The report shows that Malta had the second highest gender gap in the poverty level of those who were unemployed with the rate for men being 20 percentage points higher.

Although overall poverty rates are higher for women, the report showed, being in unemployment constitutes a higher risk-of-poverty factor for men.

The rate for unemployed men at risk of poverty in Malta is among the highest across the EU

“The close link between unemployment and the poverty rate of men may be related to the fact that they are more likely to be the sole breadwinner in the household or to have a partner who is low paid.

“The limited economic independence of women constitutes a poverty risk for men.”

Men from countries with the lowest women’s employment rates – mainly Romania, Malta, Greece and Croatia – were more likely to be at risk of poverty than their female counterparts.

The rate for unemployed men at risk of poverty in Malta is among the highest across the EU, well-above the European average of 50 per cent.

The gap between poverty rates of couples with children and that for single parents in Malta is also among the highest in Europe, the report showed.

In Malta, the difference between the risk of poverty of single parents and those who raised a child with a partner stood at 37 percentage points. This gap was the third highest in Europe with only Cyprus and the UK ahead.

Last week, the European Commission warned that Malta must keep poverty in check as higher than average increases were being registered.

According to the Joint Employment Report, published in Brussels last Friday, in 2013, Malta registered the third largest increase in the number of those at-risk-of-poverty among the 28 EU member states.

The Commission defines those at-risk-of-poverty as people whose income is below 60 per cent of the national median after adding social benefits.

Statistics issued yesterday by Eurostat also showed that Malta was ranked as having the fifth highest rate of people unable to regularly participate in leisure activities. At 27 per cent, the rate is higher than the EU average of 17.8 per cent.

Malta was also ranked as having the fifth highest rate of people who are unable to get together with friends and family for a drink or meal at least once a month.

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