A gender lens was applied in an empirical study to assess the dynamics and policy implications of one of South Africa’s largest social protection programmes, the Child Support Grant (CSG). The findings are based on a household survey conducted in an urban community in Soweto, South Africa. They suggest that the grant supports women’s ability to control and allocate resources, and that this has a positive impact on household food security. While the CSG eases women’s burden of care and responsibility for household and child survival, women remain largely responsible for caring and looking after families. This prevails despite increased opportunities for women in society and some small shifts in gender relations in urban areas. Social protection policies such as the CSG do not on their own transform gender relations. To ensure that they contribute to gender transformation, they need to work in concert with other public policies that are specifically designed to support changes toward gender equality.
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