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Think Pieces Series: experts start the discussion

16 Jan 2020





The UNICEF’s Office of Research—Innocenti is pleased to launch this think piece series on gender-responsive age-sensitive social protection in low- and middle-income countries. This series seeks to stimulate thinking and dialogue, and push boundaries on how academics, national governments, and the international community as a whole can improve and strengthen social protection systems to achieve the sustainable development goals, such as poverty eradication, whilst contributing to gender equality.

Attention to social protection has increased significantly in recent years, with more national governments investing in social protection programmes, and renewed international commitments are evident in the Sustainable Development Agenda. This has accompanied the empirical evidence demonstrating the positive impacts that social protection can have on well-being – spanning from poverty reduction, enhancing food security, tackling sexual risky behaviours, to reducing child marriage. However, poverty, risks, and vulnerabilities are gendered, and women and girls, men and boys also have access to, or adopt, different coping and mitigation strategies. New social, economic, political and environmental transformations also warrant a renewed reflection on what social protection means for reducing gender inequality, as these transformations are likely to have different impacts by age and gender, and evidence generation will be critical to understand and anticipate these gender effects.

Today, it is unclear to what extent the design and implementation of social protection are incorporating a careful analysis of gender dynamics is unclear. This evidence gap has policy implications for public investments in gender-responsive social protection, which otherwise risk failing to achieve long-standing transformative effects for women and men alike.


Gunilla Olsson
UNICEF Office of Research—Innocenti




Disclaimer: The views expressed within this Think Piece Series are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of UNICEF. This Think Piece Series has not been edited to official publication standards and UNICEF accepts no responsibility for errors.