Conditional Cash Transfers and Women’s Economic Empowerment
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.
- Sonia Laszlo (McGill University) (Facilitator)
- Stephanie McBride (World University Service of Canada)
- Franque Grimard (McGill University)
Suggested readings on this topic:
- Sarah Baird, Craig McIntosh, Berk Özler. 2011. “Cash or Condition? Evidence from a Cash Transfer Experiment” Quarterly Journal of Economics Volume 126, Issue 4, November 2011, Pages 1709–1753.
- Bobonis, G. 2011. “The Impact of Conditional Cash Transfers on Marriage and Divorce.” Economic Development and Cultural Change Vol. 59(2): 281-312.
- Bonilla, J., et al. 2017. "Cash for Women’s Empowerment?: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of the Government of Zambia’s Child Grant Programme", World Development Vol. 95: 55–72.
- Buller, A. M., Peterman, A., Ranganathan, M., Bleile, A., Hidrobo, M., & Heise, L. (2018). A mixed-method review of cash transfers and intimate partner violence in low-and middle-income countries. The World Bank Research Observer, Vol. 33(2), 218-258.
- Laszlo, S., F. Majid and L. Renee. 2019. “Conditional Cash Transfers, Women’s Empowerment and Reproductive Choices” GrOW Research Series Working Paper No 21.
- Molyneux, Maxine and Marilyn Thomson. 2011 “Cash Transfers, Gender Equity and Women’s Empowerment in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador” Gender and Development Vol. 19 (2): 1364- 9221.