Social Protection

The Impact of Cash Transfers on the Economic Advancement, Decision-Making and Capacity of Women

Resource Type: Publication
Published: 23/11/2015

Cash transfers (CTs) are important poverty reduction schemes, which are present in more than fifty countries (World Bank, 2014a). Their main goal is economic growth rather than the economic empowerment of their beneficiaries – who are usually ultra-poor people; however, evidence of their development impacts is contributing to a shift in how policy-makers perceive these programmes. In many countries, the majority of CT beneficiaries are poor and vulnerable women. As a result, it is often claimed that CTs have an empowering effect on women based on the assumption that, as the main recipients of the transfers, women gain greater control over financial resources. Nevertheless, available evidence on empowerment outcomes is far from being conclusive, particularly as to whether CTs actually improve women’s bargaining power and decision-making in the household.