The gendered dimensions of social policy have been widely critiqued for their maternalist tendencies which reinforce gender roles. Yet at the same time women have made material gains. Does maternalism matter? How do we ensure women gain more strategically from social policies?
The gendered dimensions of the 'new' Latin American social policy have been widely acknowledged. Critics have argued that programmes such as conditional cash transfers (CCTs) and the expansion of early years child care services reinforce maternalism and fail to consider men's (potential) role in unpaid care. Yet at the same time many of these policies have brought material gains for poor women and children and have contributed to the overall reduction of poverty across the region. Does it therefore matter if policies continue to be framed around maternalist assumptions if women are benefiting? How can we realistically ensure women gain more strategically from social policies? What would gender equitable social policy look like today in Latin America? The panel organisers welcome papers that address these issues.