Accepted paper:

Social protection in the post-2015 development agenda: what relevance has it for promoting gender equality in Latin America?


Sarah Bradshaw (Middlesex University)

Paper short abstract:

As the Millennium Development Goals come to an end, social protection and cash transfer programmes are being promoted as an important element of the new post-2015 sustainable development agenda. This paper asks, why? And what will it mean, if anything, for the region’s women and gender equality?

Paper long abstract:

Since the late 1970s the development industry has sought to integrate women into development, and more recently (Conditional) Cash Transfer programmes have been promoted as a key vehicle for both poverty reduction and gender equality. Yet, while the design of these programmes has been borrowed from programmes in Mexico and Brazil, the applicability of development initiatives such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the countries of the region is open to question. While the MDGs may have found little resonance with the Middle Income Counties of Latin America, the proposed new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are presented as 'universal', with targets applicable to all countries. The post-2015 agenda as envisaged by High Level Panel (HLP) and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network sees a continued role for social assistance, with the HLP report promoting it under their illustrative Goal One - To end poverty - and suggesting it to be a 'potential game changer'. The rhetoric of the reports is also gendered, including a proposed aim to end violence against women and girls, and rights based, including promoting reproductive and sexual rights. This suggests the new Goals and agenda may be of more relevance to the region and the region's women's movements. The paper seeks to explore why social assistance and specifically cash transfer programmes are being presented as key within the post-2015 agenda, and what this might mean, if anything, for the region's women, women's movements and for gender equality.

panel P21
Challenging gendered instrumentalism in Latin American social policy?