Conditional Cash Transfers and Women’s Economic Empowerment

Webinar Video

Seminar description:

One of the most important innovations in anti-poverty policy in the last couple of decades has been the rolling out of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCTs) Programs (Fiszbein and Schady, 2009). A typical CCT will transfer cash to a poor household conditional on children attending school and health check-ups regularly. This transfer is most often awarded to mothers on the presumption that they are more likely to be responsible for their children’s human capital investments. While CCTs have often been touted as an effective means of empowering women by strengthening their intra-household bargaining power, a growing number studies have documented unintended effects, for instance, on marital outcomes and intimate partner violence (e.g. Buller et al., 2016) or on the reinforcement of traditional gender roles (Molyneux and Thompson, 2011). These trade-offs can be difficult to navigate for program implementers.

This 2-hour webinar covered state of the art research on conditional cash transfers. A diverse panel of experts from the worlds of research, policy and practice discussed contemporary challenges and opportunities for promoting women’s empowerment through cash transfer programs.

Expert panelists:

  • Sonia Laszlo (McGill University) (Facilitator)
  • Stephanie McBride (World University Service of Canada)
  • Franque Grimard (McGill University)

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