Book Review : Teresa Sacchet, Silvana Mariano and Cássia Maria Carloto (editors) Women, gender and conditional cash transfers: interdisciplinary perspectives from studies of Bolsa Família

Ginsburg, Norman (2021) Book Review : Teresa Sacchet, Silvana Mariano and Cássia Maria Carloto (editors) Women, gender and conditional cash transfers: interdisciplinary perspectives from studies of Bolsa Família. Critical Social Policy, 41 (3). pp. 510-511. ISSN 1461-703X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/02610183211009531c

Abstract / Description

Over recent decades Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) have become a cornerstone of social policies addressing income poverty across many parts of the Global South, particularly Latin America and sub Saharan Africa. In the 1990s with the fall of the military dictatorship, and the socio-economic stress caused by Structural Adjustment measures, Brazil was one of the pioneers. In 2003 the Workers Party government led by Lula consolidated and expanded earlier programmes into the Bolsa Família (BF - Family Grant). In 2018, 13.7 per cent of families received BF cash, a decline from a peak of 15.9 per cent in 2012 (page 18). Since the removal of the Workers Party from power in 2016, right wing governments have been cutting the programme. The amount of cash is small, less than 20 per cent of the minimum wage (page 88) and the total cost of the programme is less than 0.5% of GDP (page 88). BF is targeted at mothers, over 90 per cent of recipients are women. BF receipt is conditional on attendance at maternity and child health clinics, on keeping children in school, and on children’s participation in ‘socialisation and bond strengthening services’ (page 19). This book addresses the impact of BF on women, arguing that it reinforces and prioritises their conventional role as the unpaid carer within households. BF is clearly framed by a ‘familism’ and ‘maternalism’ which assumes that government support for mothers and their children also advances women’s interests and gender justice. This is essentially paradoxical - clearly women in poverty derive significant material benefits from the programme, but it also strengthens conventional patriarchal roles and oppression in a ‘gender trap’ (page 57). This book keeps this paradox to the forefront throughout. Thus the fascinating question of how BF both enhances and undermines ‘women’s autonomy’ is kept in focus.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Crossref journal articles via Jisc Publications Router
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender; women; Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs); Bolsa Família
Subjects: 300 Social sciences
Department: School of Social Sciences and Professions
SWORD Depositor: Pub Router
Depositing User: Pub Router
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2021 14:05
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2021 14:05
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/6921

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