Female insolvency on the increase
Photo Credit: kenteegardin via Compfight cc


An unwanted side-effect of feminism may have reared its head in recent times, as analysis of government figures reveals that more women than men are now declaring personal insolvency.


The Debt Advice Foundation looked at figures from the Insolvency Service and found that, in 2000, women represented just 30% of insolvencies.


By 2011, they were almost at parity, reaching 49% of the official insolvency statistics, and the debt advice charity claims that the female insolvency figure is likely to reach 50% in finalised 2012 data, and become a majority from 2013 onwards.


A perfect storm of gender equality where it is perhaps not so useful, and gender prejudice elsewhere, seems to be combining to put women at greater risk of insolvency than men.


For instance, over the past few decades, it has become increasingly possible for a woman to take out a loan, without needing the written permission of her husband.


But the Debt Advice Foundation says a gender pay gap still exists, while loan providers are increasingly marketing their services specifically to women, potentially making them more likely to take out an unmanageable loan.


Chief executive David Rodger concedes that the precise reasons underpinning the trend remain unclear, but adds that young people of both genders might benefit from more financial education in schools.


“They are not being given the tools to help them understand their own financial position,” he claims; however, this could be set to change.


From September 2014, personal finance is due to be included in the draft National Curriculum for secondary schools, helping the next generation of Britons, regardless of their gender, to better understand the financial options open to them.


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