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The current global economic crisis is expected to lead to millions more people being pushed into extreme poverty. The effects are profoundly different for women and men, and the existing gender inequalities and power imbalances mean that additional problems are falling disproportionately on those who are already structurally disempowered and marginalised.

The economic crisis is the latest element in a complex web of shocks and longer-term traumas affecting women, men and their families in developing countries. These include food and fuel shocks, changing climatic conditions, and the HIV pandemic. For many people living in poverty, these crises are experienced as one multifaceted crisis, which has accentuated already-existing underlying chronic concerns in both the productive and the reproductive (care) economies of the world. While these issues remain largely invisible to mainstream economists and policymakers, they are critical to the development of effective and sustainable responses to the crisis.

Contributors to this book come from a range of international perspectives and begin to map the impact on women and men and their families in different contexts, and suggest policy and practice changes. Authors include key figures in the research field as well as policymakers and development practitioners, who analyse, with first-hand experience, the initial impacts of the economic crisis in South and East Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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