Charity: Women more affected by poverty

Nov. 8, 2012 at 12:01 PM
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PARIS, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Difficulties in finding work have led to increased levels of poverty and homelessness among French women, relief organization Secours Catholique said Thursday.

In an annual report, the charity said the number of women seeking services such as food and housing had gone up 7 percent in the last 10 years, from 50 percent in 2001 to 57 percent in 2011, Radio France Internationale reported.

Single parents represent 58 percent of the families seeking aid, the report said, with women in overwhelming numbers the single heads of households. About 160,000 women raise their child alone, while only 20,000 men lead single-parent families.

The president of Secours Catholique, Francois Soulage, said on French radio joblessness was the source of most poverty and homelessness and called for the minimum wage to be raised.

Some 66 percent of the people receiving help from Secours Catholique are unemployed, the organization said, up from 58 percent in 2001.

He said his organization had noticed an increase in the number of people living below the poverty line, which is measured in France at $1,228 a month.

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