Gender and age play a disproportionately large role in how people experience risks, vulnerabilities, and opportunities. Entrenched gender inequalities and norms drive differences in women and men’s lives and their well-being. Events at different stages in life, like marriage, childbearing or retirement, also produce distinct risks and vulnerabilities for women and girls. The intersection of gender inequalities and norms with ages and stages in the life course mean women and girls are at a heightened risk of poverty.
Social protection, such as cash transfers or health insurance, can help address poverty and vulnerability, as well as supporting people during shocks from childhood through to old age. Despite the benefits of social protection systems, many fail to address gender- and life course-related vulnerabilities and inequalities, limiting its potential for poverty reduction.
To understand how these vulnerabilities and inequalities can be prevented and addressed, UNICEF Office of Research—Innocenti is engaged in a five-year research programme (2018-2023) called Gender-Responsive and Age-Sensitive Social Protection (GRASSP), generously funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and other partners. The research programme will examine how gender-responsive and age-sensitive social protection can sustainably reduce poverty and achieve gender equality.