Redressing the Gender Gap: Conditional cash transfers and women's experiences of empowerment in Brazil and Mexico

Ana Patricia Silva Vara, UNU-MERIT

Conditional cash transfer programmes (CCTs), which provide money subsidies to targeted households living in extreme poverty, are some of the salient policy instruments used for poverty alleviation in the Global South today. These programmes employ a gendered approach as they provide the money to the mothers of families living in extreme poverty. The objective of this book is to provide in-depth knowledge about how women living in extreme poverty experience the effect of the CCTs on their empowerment. Using the Oportunidades/Prospera programme in Mexico and the Bolsa Família programme in Brazil as case studies, this research identifies the cultural, social and policy conditions that need to be in place for the empowerment process to occur in different areas of women's lives, notably labour market participation, intra-household decision-making and self-worth.

In this study, empowerment is defined as a process by which people who have previously been denied or have not had the opportunity and the ability to make choices obtain such an ability. Since the objective of this research was to analyse the experiences of women interviewees and the mechanisms by which empowerment occurs, and specifically how the women interviewed perceived their empowerment to be fostered through conditional cash transfers, we employed a case study approach using qualitative methods. We obtained the data for this study through semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted with beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries in Mexico and in Brazil.



Venue: Aula, Minderbroedersberg 4-6

Date: 11 December 2017

Time: 12:00 - 13:30


UNU-MERIT