This paper challenges recent findings from quantitative studies of poverty in post-communist countries which deny the existence of gender differences in poverty in post 1989 Poland. The author uncovers hidden forms of the feminization of poverty by studying it from the micro-perspective of the family and the household. This perspective highlights gender differences in the division of labor, leisure time, as well as the fact that it is women’s primary responsibility to secure the basic needs of the family. This study presents strong evidence for a variety of ways in which men and women experience and endure poverty differently in an impoverished area in Poland, a fact which is associated with the role of culture, history and tradition in shaping gendered patterns of reaction towards poverty and hardship. The paper is based on the content analysis of in-depth interviews collected during a field research conducted within the project “Old and new forms of poverty in Poland” (1997–1998) and “Poverty, Ethnicity, and Gender inTransitional Societies (1999–2000).

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