Gender and Cash Transfers: A human rights-based approach
This Issue Brief explores some key gender dimensions of conditional cash transfers through the lens of the human rights-based approach to social protection.
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.