Women’s economic empowerment: the role of social protection Dr. Nicola Jones Research Fellow Overseas Development Institute November 8 2012 Houses of Parliament, London Presentation overview 1. Linking economic empowerment and social protection 2. Gendered poverty and vulnerability – a brief overview 3. Conceptualising gender-sensitive social protection 4. Key findings from ODI’s global study on gender-sensitive social protection 5. Examples of international good practice: • Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme • Mexico’s Estancias subsidised creche scheme • Peru’s Juntos conditional cash transfer programme 6. Policy and practice implications 7. Useful sources, including other relevant ODI work 1. Linking economic empowerment and social protection Social protection and economic empowerment Social protection contributes to: • Growth with resilience: as recognised by the 2010 G20 Seoul Development Consensus and the 2011 Busan Aid Forum • More equitable growth: as highlighted by growing evidence base on poverty impacts of CTs from Latin American (e.g. World Bank, 2010) and elsewhere (DFID Cash Transfer Evidence Paper, 2011) • MDG achievement: by reducing gendered poverty and inequality (Goals 1,7); strengthening access to quality basic services (Goals 2-7); facilitating better balance between care-giving and productive work responsibilities (Goals 4-6); & promoting women’s role as agents of change (Goals 3, 8). • Realisation of Human rights to basic social security: “The duty to implement social protection policies to expand the protection available to persons living in extreme poverty flows directly from a number of human rights… Ensuring access to social protection is therefore not a policy option, but a State obligation” (UN Independent Expert on Extreme Poverty, 2010: para 10). 2. Gendered poverty and vulnerability Gendered vulnerabilities: cross-country differences It is often argued women constitute “70% of the world’s poor” but a closer look at individual countries suggests a more complex picture: Ethiopia: early 2000s data suggests that while male hhs have greater consumption expenditure capacity, in terms of per capita food energy consumption, female hhs score more highly Ghana: female hhs (30% of population) have significantly lower poverty levels (19.2% vs 31.4%) Cambodia: on average, men’s wages in 2004 were 3% higher than women’s; but 53% of economically-active women work in unpaid family labour, compared to 32% of men. China: while wages rose significantly between 1990-2000 , gender income gap increased 7.4% India: the proportion of women living below the poverty line is 60% compared to 40% for men (trend data from 1970s to 2000s) Latin America: more women live below the poverty line with an increase in women’s poverty from 108 to 112 vs every 100 men over last 15 years Gendered economic and social risks Gendered economic risks Macro-level shocks Economic crisis – exacerbates women’s time poverty + vulnerability to risky employment Macro level stresses Meso-level shocks Meso-level stresses Displacement, harvest failures or business failures affect men and women differently. E.g. higher male suicide rates during 2007-9 Asian economic crisis Gender segmented labour markets; Institutional discrimination (e.g. absence of affirmative action policies); Lack of tailored service delivery to poor women (e.g. extension services, credit, fertiliser) Micro-level shocks Micro-level stresses Gendered social risks Environmental disasters – women more vulnerable due to care-giving role; socio-cultural mobility constraints; reliance on subsistence food production Social exclusion and discrimination informed by formal policies, legislation (e.g. lack of gender equality legislation) and institutions (e.g. low representation of women in senior positions) Limited opportunities for women to participate and articulate views in community dialogues; More limited social capital opportunities due to time poverty, mobility constraints. Sudden expenditure on health emergencies or funerals: women’s assets are often the first to be sold and last to be replaced in distress asset sales Dearth of intra-household decision-making and bargaining power for women – due to socio-cultural norms, time poverty, lack of economic empowerment 3. Conceptualising gender-sensitive social protection Defining social protection A useful working definition of social protection is: ‘All interventions from public, private and voluntary organisations and informal networks to support communities, households and individuals in their efforts to prevent, manage and overcome risks and vulnerabilities’ (Shepherd et al., 2004). “An expanded view of social protection must incorporate responses to both chronic and structural vulnerability’ (Sabates-Wheeler and Devereux 2008: 67). Care economy Government capacity Sociocultural norms Regulatory policy and legislative frameworks Gender-sensitive social protection: conceptualising impact pathways on women’s empowerment Outcomes: wellbeing, resilience, social justice Productive economy Intra-household dynamics Policy choices, including social protection instruments and links to gender equality initiatives Individual capacities and agency Social risks and vulnerabilities Budgetary considerations Community relations Economic risks and vulnerabilities 4. Key findings from ODI global study Gender-sensitive programming strengths Strengths are largely at programme design level with gender-sensitive vulnerability assessments underpinning social protection strategy choices: Women’s unequal wages recognised by guaranteeing equal wages within public works schemes Women’s care work burden recognised through provisions in public works for work dispensation during maternity/post-partum and flexible work-time; as well as subsidised creche schmes Women’s and girls’ time poverty recognised through investments in time-saving community assets Women recognised as key facilitators of children’s human capital development by targeting social transfers to them Safe motherhood practices promoted through cash transfer conditionalities Gender-specific health vulnerabilities addressed through social health insurance programmes which include provisions for reproductive and sexual health Gender-sensitive programming challenges Challenges are especially pressing at the implementation and M&E stages: Frequent disconnect from design; programme implementers’ gender awareness and capacities are weak/ under-invested in x × Inadequate leadership support and incentive structures for integration of gender dimensions × Too often gender is equated with female headed hhs; vulnerabilities of women and girls within male headed hhs overlooked × Insufficient attention to institutionalized linkages with complementary programmes and weak inter-sectoral coordination × Limited investment in mechanisms, e.g. mentoring, required for women’s meaningful participation in programme decision-making bodies × Gender-sensitive M&E systems universally weak, and very few examples of participatory approaches, e.g. social audits 5. Examples of international good practice Estancias Infantiles: subsidised childcare for Mexican mothers • Estancias provides subsidised childcare to low-income working mothers of children aged 1-4 years. • Reached 1 million children in its first four years. • Care is available to women who are working, looking for work or studying. Single fathers are also eligible. • Enabled 5000 women to become micro-entrepreneurs by opening their own childcare centres. • Been rated satisfactory, safe by 99% of beneficiaries, and enabled 95% of women to raise their incomes. • Limited impacts on child development outcomes, although that is not its primary aim. • Service users are eligible for additional support, including Mexico’s renowned Progresa CCT programme Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme • PSNP is a public works scheme reaching 7.5 million chronically poor people in rural Ethiopia • Programme design is gender-sensitive in a number of ways: • • Guarantees equal participation of men and women; and provides cash transfers for pregnant and lactating mothers • Allows for flexible working hours for mothers, and in principle for free childcare for programme participants during working hours • Invests in gender-sensitive community assets such as water and fuelwood collection points closer to the village to reduce girls’/ women’s time burden; allows for public works labour to support agricultural labour demands of female-headed households Programme implementation has been weaker to date: • Limited investment in gender awareness strengthening for programme implementers as well as the broader community • Uneven implementation of gender-sensitive provisions across work sites • Relatively weak gender-sensitive M&E Peru’s Juntos conditional cash transfer programme • CCT programme reaching 500,000 extremely poor households by 2011 • Programme design is gender-sensitive in a number of ways: • • Recognises women’s “practical gender needs” by paying the transfer to women to support children’s education, health and nutrition-related costs • Facilitates an uptake in pre-/ post-natal services by inclusion in programme conditions • Encourages transformation of intra-household gender relations through behavioural change initiatives with both men and women • Strengthens women’s interactions with authorities by mandating all programme participants have a birth registration certificate and a bank account • Increases women’s community leadership through dedicated programme faciltiator (all women) to liaise with programme members and service providers • In some localities linkages have been forged with complementary programmes, e.g. gender violence prevention initiatives undertaken by NGOs Challenges persist however: • Programme conditions can exacerbate women’s time poverty • Limited linkages to alterative income-generating opportunities to promote a sustainable exit from poverty • Limited impacts on intra-household inequalities 6. Policy & practice implications Policy and practice implications 5. Strengthen gender-sensitive information management, M&E systems 4. Support development of clear gendersensitive programme implementation guidelines 1. Promote leadership and coordination mechanisms for social protection, including gender integration Promoting gendersensitive social protection 2.Foster decentralised social protection programming and budgeting to better address contextspecific gendered vulnerabilities 3. Invest in tailored capacity building – general and gender-specific Further reading on women’s economic empowerment by ODI Espey, J. (2011). “Women exiting chronic poverty: empowerment through equitable control of households’ natural resources “. Chronic Poverty Research Centre Working Paper. No. 184. May. Holmes, R. and Jones, N. (2009) “Putting the social back into social protection: a framework for understanding the linkages between economic and social risks for poverty reduction‟. ODI Background Note, ODI London. Holmes, R. and N. Jones (2010). “How to design and implement gender-sensitive social protection programmes: A Toolkit for Designers and Practitioners”. ODI: London. Holmes, R. and N. Jones (2010). “Rethinking Social Protection Using a Gender Lens”. ODI Working Paper 320. ODI: London. Jones, N. and R. Holmes (2011). “If gender ‘makes development and economic sense’, why is social protection gender-blind? The politics of gender and social protection”. IDS Bulletin. ”Social Protection for Social Justice”. November. . Holmes, R. and N. Jones (2013 forthcoming). Gender and Social Protection in the Developing World: Beyond Mothers and Safety Nets. Zed Books: London. See also: http://www.odi.org.uk/work/projects/details.asp?id=1020&title=gendervulnerability-social-protection Holmes, R. and N. Jones (2010). “How to design and implement gender-sensitive social protection programmes: A Toolkit for Designers and Practitioners”. ODI: London Programme Implementation Data: Good practice examples; evaluation evidence 1. Analyse key economic vulnerabilities from a gender and generational lens 2. Analyse key social vulnerabilities from a gender and generational lens 1. Objective to address gender inequalities 2. Gender-sensitive benefit type , delivery approach and conditionalities 3. Linkages to complementary services 4. Gender equitable decision-making 5. Gender-sensitive M and E 1. Awareness raising on gender programme provisions for beneficiaries + implementers 2. Equal participation in decisionmaking encouraged 3. Gender-sensitive M&E 4. Clear coordination mechanisms Learning from good practice ? Are M&E indicator s gendersensitive ? Uptake in national social protectio n strategie s? Balanced approach between economic and social risks? Examples of gender-specific vulnerabilities... Optimal gender-sensitive vulnerability assessment BEAR IN MIND: Policy and Programme Design Data: household surveys, qualitative research, UN indices Uptake in national development strategie s? EXAMPLES QUESTIONS STEPS Vulnerability/ Capability Assessment 1. Innovate Sufficient pilot evidence? Role of ideas? Gender-sensitive design features include... Optimal gender-sensitive programme design 2. Complexity Vs. Simplicity 3. No perfect solutions Data: Programme M and E data Role of formal and informal institution s? Role of actor interests ? Gender-sensitive implementation entails... Optimal gender-sensitive programme implementation 4. The importance of context Thank you “If an activity is attended by either men or women, it is decided by just a half of world….” (Commune Poverty Reduction Officer, Lao Va Chai, Ha Giang, Viet Nam).