Chapter

Social work and women's oppression today

Laura Penketh

in Radical social work today

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9781847428189
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303138 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847428189.003.0004
Social work and women's oppression today

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This chapter explores social work and women's oppression, with a focus on gender and class. It discusses the lives of poorer working-class women, who are overrepresented as service users in the social-work sector, particularly in relation to childcare and child-protection work. The chapter also assesses the discrimination faced by women in the labour market and from the state, as well as its impact on levels of poverty, inequality, health, and wellbeing. In addition, it considers how welfare developments linked to the marketisation and privatisation of social provision have had a negative impact on the lives of poorer women. Throughout, the chapter challenges stereotypes of poor women that focus on individualistic and moralistic character deficiencies, and highlights the key role of poverty and inequality in shaping their lives. Finally, it examines how sexual objectification of women and young girls has reinforced discrimination within and outside the workplace, and how it negatively has affected women's self-image and self-worth.

Keywords: social work; women; oppression; childcare; discrimination; labour market; poverty; inequality; sexual objectification; marketisation

Chapter.  5740 words. 

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