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Expanding Social Protection in Developing Countries: A Gender Perspective


  • Rania Antonopoulos


This paper discusses social protection initiatives in the context of developing countries and explores the opportunities they present for promoting a gender-equality agenda and women's empowerment. The paper begins with a brief introduction on the emergence of social protection (SP) and how it is linked to economic and social policy. Next, it reviews the context, concepts, and definitions relevant to SP policies and identifies gender-specific social and economic risks and corresponding SP instruments, drawing on country-level experiences. The thrust of the paper is to explore how SP instruments can help or hinder the process of altering rigid gendered roles, and offers a critical evaluation of SP interventions from the standpoint of women’s inclusion in economic life. Conditional cash transfers and employment guarantee programs are discussed in detail. An extensive annotated bibliography accompanies this paper as a resource for researchers and practitioners.

Suggested Citation

  • Rania Antonopoulos, 2013. "Expanding Social Protection in Developing Countries: A Gender Perspective," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_757, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_757

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barrientos, Armando & Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel, 2011. "Social transfers and chronic poverty: objectives, design, reach and impact," MPRA Paper 30465, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Rania Antonopoulos & Thomas Masterson & Ajit Zacharias, 2012. "It's About 'Time': Why Time Deficits Matter for Poverty," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_126, Levy Economics Institute.
    3. Annamaria Simonazzi, 2009. "Care regimes and national employment models," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(2), pages 211-232, March.
    4. Rania Antonopoulos & Kijong Kim & Tom Masterson & Ajit Zacharias, 2010. "Investing in Care: A Strategy for Effective and Equitable Job Creation," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_610, Levy Economics Institute.
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    More about this item


    Social Protection; Social Assistance; Gender; Women; Public Works Programs; Conditional Cash Transfers; Development; Employment Guarantee Programs; Social Protection Floor Initiative; Developing Countries;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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