Cash Transfer Programmes, Poverty Reduction and Women’s Economic Empowerment: Experience from Mexico
This working paper on cash transfer in Mexico reviews over 150 publications on cash transfer programmes in the country since the end of the 1990s and presents the impact of these on health, education, income, poverty, labour force participation, time use and bargaining power of women at the household and community level. Moreover, the study focuses on the effects of the programme on women and girls, and how it impacts their lives. Its results point to evidence that most of these gender-related interventions have focused on breaking the inter-generational cycle of poverty, particularly for disadvantaged girl children, but have been weaker in promoting women’s economic empowerment through employment or sustainable livelihoods. They also highlight the challenge of enhancing women’s economic empowerment with targeted actions aimed at reducing women’s time poverty and redistributing unpaid care responsibilities between women and men and between families and the State. More employment-related services in combination with child-care and other social services, either as part of the programme or articulating it with other initiatives, such as the childcare programme Estancias Infantiles (Childcare Centres), hold potential to multiply the positive effects of the programme and increase women’s labour force participation.