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Gender and Cash Transfers: A Human Rights-Based Approach (Issue Brief 3)


Gender and Cash Transfers: A Human Rights-Based Approach (Issue Brief 3)
In many cash transfer programmes around the world, women are the principal beneficiaries on the assumption that this not only improves the nutrition, health and education of children, but can also enhance women’s decision-making power within the household. While channelling conditional cash transfers (CCTs) to women is thought to provide women with more agency, it does not in and of itself empower women or address the root causes of gender inequality. Policy makers should be aware that, from a human rights perspective, universal and unconditional transfers are superior to conditional transfers. However, if they must have recourse to CCTs, they should design them deliberately in a way that does not reinforce patterns of gender discrimination and stereotyping, or undermine women’s enjoyment of their human rights.

This Issue Brief explores some key gender dimensions of conditional cash transfers through the lens of the human rights-based approach to social protection. Readers will find more information on the topic at socialprotection-humanrights.org, along with key legal instruments and other tools that are available to help policy makers and practitioners advocate for and operationalize a gender-sensitive (indeed, gender-transformative) and rights-based approach to the design and implementation of social protection systems.

UNRISD Issue Briefs flag ideas and contribute knowledge that can improve the quality of development debates, policy and practice. This set of Issue Briefs on Social Protection and Human Rights is meant to raise awareness of the possibilities and the challenges of aligning social protection and human rights. They present a range of key issues in order to catalyse discussion, and thereby to contribute to the design, implementation and evaluation of human rights-based social protection systems.

For more resources, visit socialprotection-humanrights.org
  • Publication and ordering details
  • Pub. Date: 19 Dec 2016
    Pub. Place: Geneva
    ISSN: 2518-6817
    From: UNRISD