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How do national social protection strategies and programmes integrate gender considerations?

Elena Camilletti and Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed's presentation at socialprotection.org's e-conference held in October 2020: "How do national social protection strategies and programmes integrate gender considerations? Evidence from low- and middle income countries".

The presentations outlines a draft Research Brief, jointly produced by UN Women and UNICEF Innocenti, discusses the findings of research undertaken to map and assess 50 national social protection strategies and 40 social programmes from a gender perspective.

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How do national social protection strategies and programmes integrate gender considerations?

  1. 1. Constanza Tabbush, Research Specialist, UN Women Elena Camilletti, Research Officer, UNICEF Office of Research Innocenti Silke Staab, Research Specialist, UN Women Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed, Gender and Development Manager (Research), UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti
  2. 2. Please send us your questions via Slido!
  3. 3. • Introduction and motivation for the research • Concepts and definitions, analytical framework, and methodology • Key findings – national social protection strategies • Key findings – social protection programmes • Concluding remarks
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  5. 5. ● Increasing attention to social protection at national and global level both as a human right ● Poverty, risks and vulnerabilities are gendered ● COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised gendered nature of crises, risks and vulnerabilities ● Gaps remain in our understanding of if and how gender is integrated into social protection strategies and programmes 6
  6. 6. ● UN Women, UNICEF Innocenti and other partners started a collaboration to investigate the extent to which gender has been integrated, or not, across a range of national social protection strategies and programmes in low- and middle-income countries ● UNICEF Innocenti’s research is part of the Gender-Responsive Age-Sensitive Social Protection (GRASSP) research programme, funded with UK Aid by the UK Government ● Upcoming Output: “How gender-sensitive are national social protection strategies, policies and programmes? Evidence from selected low- and middle-income countries”, Innocenti – UN Women Joint Research Brief 7
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  8. 8. Social protection programme: distinct framework of rules to provide social protection benefits to entitles beneficiaries (ILO 2017). Such rules would specify the geographical and personal scope of the programme. National social protection strategy: Strategic government document that sets out a medium- to long-term vision for social protection; usually provides an assessment of risks and vulnerabilities, an overview of existing social protection mechanisms, and a series of objectives for increasing their reach and effectiveness; focuses on establishing a set of priorities that will guide policy implementation and assessment in the future. Gender integration/ mainstreaming: “the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action (legislation, policy or programme) to ensure that concerns and experiences of women and men form an integral part of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes. The ultimate goal of mainstreaming is to achieve gender equality.” (ECOSOC 1997) Gender risks and vulnerabilities: Social and economic risks and vulnerabilities related to women’s and girls’ unequal access to resources, power and status in a given context, which include gender-specific life course risks (e.g. teenage pregnancy; maternity-related health and income risks; single parenthood; widowhood; old age poverty) and structural inequalities, such as violence against women; women’s greater unpaid care and domestic work burdens; and gender inequalities in access to and control over resources beyond social protection.
  9. 9. Does the strategy or programme make reference to International human rights standards? Does it define gender equality and women’s empowerment as an objective? Does the strategy or programme recognize gendered life course risks and structural inequalities recognized? Does the strategy or programme include specific actions or programme design features to address gendered risks and vulnerabilities? Does the M&E framework include gender- specific indicators? Are participatory M&E mechanisms in place? Are grievance, feedback and complaint mechanisms in place?
  10. 10. Methodology 11 Social protection strategies • Sub-sample of 50 National Social Protection Strategies (NSPS) in LMICs • Timespan of NSPS is from 2010 through 2020 • Gender analysis applying the analytical framework Social protection programmes • Mapping of sub-sample of 40 social protection programmes (non- contributory and labour market programmes, flagship programmes) in LMICs focused on children, women and their households • Data and analysis before COVID-19 • Gender analysis applying the analytical framework
  11. 11. Legend: Countries where either the social protection strategy or a social protection programme has been assessed Countries where both the social protection strategy and a social protection programme have been assessed
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  13. 13. Significant gaps covering women’s vulnerabilities in old age and, in some regions, adolescence. 12 18 24 39 28 24 17 6
  14. 14. • Only 14 out of 50 strategies commit to specific actions to reduce, recognise or redistribute unpaid care • As little as 15 strategies foresee specific actions to address violence against women • 26 out of 50 strategies detailed specific actions at redressing women’s lack of access to assets or resources 26 out of 50 39 out of 50 15 out of 50 30 out of 50 14 out of 50 20 out of 50 SPECIFIC MEASURES RECOGNITION SPECIFIC MEASURES RECOGNITION SPECIFIC MEASURES RECOGNITION LESSCONTROL OVERRESOURCESVAWGUNPAIDCARE
  15. 15. • 24 out of 50 reviewed strategies included plans for participatory M&E mechanisms • Only 17 out of 50 included gender-specific indicators in their M&E framework • Only 13 out of 50 fore saw the establishment of grievance, feedback and complaint mechanisms 29 strategies out of 50 28 out of 50 18 of 50 8 out of 50 International actors (donors, agencies) National civil society National gender equality mechanisms National workers' and employers' respresentatives
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  17. 17. Of the 40 programmes analysed: • Only eight refer to international human rights standards  However, only two programmes refer to gender-specific frameworks (e.g. CEDAW) • Only seven refer to national constitutions or other statutory mandates on human rights. • Almost all are enshrined in national legal frameworks  However, few programmes referred to national strategies with gender equality and women’s empowerment at their core • Only five explicitly refer to gender equality or women’s empowerment as an objective • Twenty-five refer to child rights as an explicit objective
  18. 18. • The majority of social protection programmes sought to address poverty, and risks to household income related to childbirth • Maternity (14/40), unemployment (12/40), and disability (11/40) followed • Half (20) acknowledge and seek to address nutritional needs of children, and in some cases of mothers • Over half (21) of programmes acknowledge barriers to education, although few (8) with explicit reference to the gendered nature of such barriers to education 2 13 4 4 2 1 18 1 8 7 3 9 10 2 1 4 2 3 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 Nutritional needs Adolescent pregnancy Gendered barriers or gaps in education Maternity related health risks Maternity related income risks Single motherhood Widowhood Orphans Old age Others Unclear Yes Yes - Gender-sensitive Yes - Gender-responsive
  19. 19. • Only 3 programmes explicitly recognize violence against women and girls, although only 2 of them set forth actions to address it • 4 programmes acknowledged unpaid care and domestic work, while only 2 set forth actions to address it • 9 programmes explicitly recognize women’s and girls’ more limited access to resources. However, one fourth of programmes claimed to economically empower women only because they are targeting them 1 2 1 4 11 3 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 6 2 1 1 Acknowledgement Action Acknowledgement Action Acknowledgement Action Violenceagainst womenandgirls Unpaidcareand domesticwork Lessaccessto resources Unclear Yes Yes - Gender-sensitive Yes - Gender-responsive Yes - Gender-transformative
  20. 20. Out of 40 social protection programmes analysed: • Targeting women and girls is mostly on grounds of poverty (18/40), disability (11/40), minority (7/40), and as single women, heads of households or widows (7/40)  However, only few programmes, mostly public works, explicitly seek to close the social protection coverage gaps between women/girls and men/boys, via for example including quotas for women • Of the 18 conditional programmes, 8 were designed with conditionalities that risk being punitive, especially for women, and for 6 the extent to which conditionalities were punitive or not was unclear • Only 3 programmes explicitly considered gender issues related to accessibility of registration and enrollment processes for women and girls • Only 5 programmes explicitly consider gender issues related to benefits’ or services’ transfer modalities and mechanisms. For another 9 programmes it was unclear • Only 12 programmes specifically link to information or refer to other benefits or services, but not necessarily through specific gender considerations.
  21. 21. Out of 40 programmes analysed: • Only for 13 programmes information was found on the M&E systems • Only 6 programmes reported collecting sex- and age-disaggregated data • 4 of these programmes also reported collecting data on gender-specific indicators • Information about the existence of grievance, feedback and complaint mechanisms was only found for one fourth of social protection programmes
  22. 22. 24 • Many national social protection strategies and programmes around LMICs commit to gender equality and acknowledge gendered risks and vulnerabilities • However, they rarely provide for specific actions to address such risks and vulnerabilities. • Only a minority of social protection programmes have design and delivery features that account for gendered needs, risks and vulnerabilities • Governance, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems are inadequately gendered • Social protection strategies and programmes should be based on a robust assessment of the risks and vulnerabilities, including those caused by structural gender inequalities, and define specific actions to address and transform these. • COVID-19 has demonstrated the critical role social protection can play at times of crises. It has also shown how women and girls are disproportionately affected by the socio-economic impact of the pandemic. • Yet, the social protection and jobs response has been largely gender-blind: only 10% of measures target women’s economic security and only 8% of measures addressing unpaid care. • The development of national social protection strategies provides an important opportunity to address these gaps and work towards universal, gender- and shock- responsive social protection systems, including programmes that address the specific challenges faced by women and girls
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