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The analysis of the data provided by the Bank of Italy enables the authors to confirm their hypothesis, according to which the poverty of working women is often compensated for, although concealed, within the family. Actually, data related to individual resources show that more often than men, women who work have work-related incomes that are lower than the poverty line, particularly if they are independent. Other studies also show that among poor workers, women are twice as numerous as men, and that the gap between the average male salary and the average female salary reaches 20 % ; furthermore, the gap is even wider for married women. Even if this does not necessarily mean that women are in poverty, given the fact that they have access to part of the family income, these elements point out female vulnerability in case of intra-marital negotiations or in case of marital separation. To conclude, the authors stress how risky the increasingly frequent recourse to evaluations of family financial resources in social policy are.

Elisabetta Ruspini
Chiara Saraceno
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