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Do anti-discrimination measures reduce poverty among marginalised social groups?

Research report

Written by Rachel Marcus, Anna Mdee

Research report

Discrimination – on grounds of gender, against particular ethnic groups, on grounds of age, caste, disability or religion – is a violation of human rights worldwide and an important factor contributing to the high rates of poverty among many discriminated-against groups. This report breaks new ground by synthesising evidence from a rigorous review of evidence from low and middle income countries that explores the following key questions:

  • What evidence is there concerning the effectiveness of large-scale anti-discrimination policies and programmes for different social groups?
  • Are anti-discrimination policies and programmes more effective for some social groups than others? If so, why?
  • How far and in what ways have anti-discrimination policies and programmes contributed to reducing poverty among the poorest people?

The study makes use of a multi-dimensional conception of poverty, which includes economic aspects such as income and assets, capabilities such as health and education, and control over one’s life, such as power or powerlessness. It set out to examine evidence concerning how far anti-discrimination measures have impacted on any of these areas, or proxies for them.

Rachel Marcus, Anna Mdee and Ella Page