Cash transfers, gender equity and women’s empowerment in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia
Conditional cash transfer programmes provide extremely poor households with a cash subsidy, on condition that children attend school, and mothers and infants undergo health checks. These programmes are generally considered effective social protection mechanisms, and success in meeting children’s nutrition, education, and health targets is reported. However, the impact of these programmes on women’s empowerment and intra-household dynamics is under-explored. This article provides a summary of some key findings of recent research in Latin America, supported by CARE International UK. The research looked at the Juntos Programme in Peru, Bono de Desarrollo Humano in Ecuador, and Bono Juana Azurduy in Bolivia. Through qualitative and participatory research with women beneficiaries, and interviews with key informants, the study examined whether, and in what ways, conditional cash transfer programmes might promote gender equity and women’s empowerment.
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