Cash transfer programmes, poverty reduction and empowerment of women: A comparative analysis

This comparative analysis aims to help the ILO generate new thinking on ways to improve the impact of cash transfer programmes on women's poverty alleviation and economic empowerment. Key findings relate to selected cash transfer programmes from five countries: Brazil, Chile, India, Mexico and South Africa.


The selected cash transfer programmes include Bolsa Família (Brazil); Chile Solidario and Ethical Family Income (Chile); the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY), a pilot cash transfer for maternity, and the Indira Gandhi Widow’s Pension Scheme (India); Progresa/Oportunidades (Mexico); and the Old Age Pension and the Child Support Grant (South Africa).

The review addresses two broad questions. First, to what extent are cash transfers alleviating women’s poverty and improving their access to nutrition, as well as health care and other social services? And second, what are the impacts of cash transfers on women’s economic empowerment?

This working paper is a joint publication of the Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch in the ILO Conditions of Work and Equality Department and the ILO Social Protection Department.