Applying a gender lens to social protection policies is necessary to reduce inequality between men and women and make development more inclusive. This is the main message from a new paper by Julie Newton for INCLUDE, ‘Making Social Protection Gender Sensitive for Inclusive Development in Sub-Saharan Africa’.
‘Although cited as one of the great success stories of development reaching large groups of the poor, social protection has been critiqued as gender-blind’, writes Newton, who argues for the application of a gender lens. In her view, social protection can only inclusively transform social and economic inequality at a systemic level if the different risks that women and men face are integrated in the design of social protection policies right from the start.
This can be achieved by integrating traditional social protection instruments with complementary interventions, such as ‘awareness raising about the social norms that underpin [gender] inequality’.
According to Newton, making social protection programmes gender aware requires close monitoring and adequate resources, but costs can be low and design modifications can be kept simple.
Importantly, all stakeholders, including civil society, government policy-makers and implementers, women activists and donors, should cooperate across government sectors to address ‘institutional power dynamics and blockages’ to make transformative social protection effective.
In another new paper on women and inclusive development for INCLUDE, ‘Gender-Aware Women’s Entrepreneurship Development for Inclusive Development in Sub-Saharan Africa’, Saskia Vossenberg writes that policy making and programming on women’s entrepreneurship development needs to focus on improving the equality of opportunities between women and men and on reducing the gender bias and the gendered risks and vulnerabilities that women entrepreneurs face.
You can download the paper ‘Making Social Protection Gender Sensitive for Inclusive Development in Sub-Saharan Africa’ by clicking on the link below.Download PDF
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