This flagship study examines the changing context in which women and men are trying to achieve income security for themselves and their families. Drawing from detailed worldwide data, this edition assesses the impact of globalization and liberalization, and considers the vital role played by social protection in supporting, supplementing, and replacing market incomes.
The Report highlights the forces at work in creating growing insecurity for many income earners. It discusses the effects of rising unemployment and underemployment, as well as labor market developments that have exposed a growing number of workers–especially women–to low pay and precarious conditions. It considers other factors, such as changing family structures and demographic trends that have created new needs and imposed new constraints. In addition, this wide-ranging study examines existing measures to protect against major contingencies, such as old age, incapacity for work, bearing and raising children, and unemployment.
The Report finds that the positive impact of social protection on the economy has often been neglected and that this impact can be enhanced by a better coordination between social protection, labor market, and anti-poverty policies. With many social security systems now under reform, future prospects are outlined and an alarm is sounded about the implications of pension fund growth for the instability of global financial markets. Top priority, the Report says, must be given to finding the most effective means to bring social protection to the majority who still go without.