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Social protection and gender equality outcomes across the lifecycle

Research report

Written by Nicola Jones

Image credit:Adolescent girl in Ethiopia. GAGE/Nathalie Bertrams

Social protection is a fundamental human right and key tool in addressing shocks, vulnerability, gender inequality and poverty.

Expanding coverage and improving the design and implementation of social protection programmes - such as child benefits, maternity and parental leave benefits, and pensions - can have a significant impact on the most vulnerable households. It can contribute to protecting people from slipping into poverty during times of change, challenge and crisis.

These experiences of poverty, vulnerability, life-cycle changes and crisis are consistently gendered experiences, with women and girls over-represented among those living in poverty globally. This report provides a concise summary of the findings of a rapid evidence assessment, capturing the recent evidence on whether and how social protection programmes in low and middle-income countries can contribute to gender equality. It looks at how programmes can promote certain gender equality outcomes, as well as how they can deliver different gendered results depending on design, implementation choices and context.