Poverty is worsening in France with women highlighted as the main victims, according to a report published on Tuesday.
The median income of the people cared for by French charity Secours Catholique stood at €538 per month in 2022, representing a daily budget of €18 to cover all household needs, the organisation said in its report.
The amount corresponds to less than half the poverty line, which Secours Catholique estimated to stand at €1,211 per month in 2022.
When factoring in inflation, which has contributed significantly to driving up food and energy prices, this represents a 7.6% drop in income, according to the charity.
"The poorest people are hit by inflation, the noose is tightening, and deprivation is greater for things that are not necessarily visible, such as heating or food," Adelaïde Bertrand, general delegate of Secours Catholique, told AFP.
To combat poverty, the charity, whose name means 'catholic aid' in French, recommends indexing minimum social benefits to the minimum wage, extending welfare benefits and combating their non-use by making social services more accessible.
Secours Catholique said it took care of a total of one million people in France last year, who benefited from various services such as food aid and social support.
Single-adult households were the most represented group, making up 75% of those that the charity took in. Among them were mainly single mothers (25.7%) and single women (20.9%).
Many of them seek Secours Catholique's aid following separation or divorce. Indeed, women "bear the brunt of marital breakdowns" and "all too often bear the burden of childcare alone", the charity said.
According to Secours Catholique, whose report analysed data from 49,250 forms filled in by its beneficiaries, poverty among women has steadily increased in recent decades, whereas until the early 2000s it affected men and women equally.
Women now account for 57.5% of the people met by the association, compared with 52.6% in 1999.