GENDER AND INFLATION: Understanding the effect of price-rise on women

This paper provides an overview of the effects of inflation on women and analyzes how it differs from the impact on men. It highlights the disproportionate impact of inflation on women and emphasizes the need for targeted policies and interventions to mitigate these effects and promote gender equality in the face of rising prices.

In the backdrop of the recent trend in rising prices caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia war, the paper then presents insights from a survey conducted to understand women’s perceptions of inflation and its impact on their consumption decisions. The survey findings reveal that women perceive significant price increases in various product categories, including groceries, beauty products and services, clothes and shoes, entertainment and travel, women’s health and hygiene products, education and schooling expenses, house rent and utility expenses, and fuel. While some women have reduced consumption or are willing to accept lower quality products in response to price increases, others continue to bear the burden of rising prices.

The paper explores the causes of the differential impact of inflation on women, highlighting factors such as employment and wage gaps, differences in inflation expectations, childcare costs, and the impact of time poverty. It emphasizes that women’s lower employment rates, lower wages, and limited financial independence make them more vulnerable to the negative effects of inflation. Additionally, women’s role as primary caregivers and their responsibility for household decision-making contribute to their unique consumption needs and mental burden.

The authors call for policymakers and analysts to consider the gendered impact of inflation in their decision-making processes and consumer behavior analyses. It suggests measures to minimize the negative impact of inflation on women, including addressing employment and wage gaps, providing affordable childcare options, and promoting gender equality in various spheres.


Samprikta Banerjee

Shravani Prakash