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Impacts of the Peruvian Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Women’s Empowerment: A Quantitative and Qualitative Approach

Lorena Alcázar (), María Balarin and Karen Espinoza

Working Papers PMMA from PEP-PMMA

Abstract: This study aims to identify the effects of Juntos, the conditional cash transfer program in Peru, on women’s empowerment. Although the program does not envisage women’s welfare as an objective per se, women play a key role as they are the main recipients of the cash transfer and are responsible for compliance with the program’s conditions; thus, their empowerment level can be affected by the intervention. The study applies mixed methods complementing quantitative econometrics with qualitative methods to identify the effects of Juntos on six dimensions of empowerment: economic household decision-making, freedom of movement, gender ideology, agency, self-esteem and perceptions of life. Using two data sources for the quantitative approach (ENDES and Young Lives Study), the study finds positive significant effects on women’s empowerment, specifically on economic household decision-making (even when considering large purchases and resources earned by the partner), self-esteem and perceptions of life; the latter of which is found when women have been part of the program for more than three years. These results are strongly reinforced and explained by the findings of a qualitative approach. No significant results were found on agency, freedom of movement or gender ideology, but the qualitative fieldwork results show improvements on agency and freedom of movement mainly because of women’s participation in training sessions and informal socialization, where they are able to exchange ideas that are then incorporated into their daily lives. However, these improvements may be hampered in some cases by local management of the program in which vertical interaction between the government representatives and beneficiaries occur; women appear as the passive subjects who only receive benefits, conditions and instructions from the program.

Keywords: gender; women empowerment; impact evaluation; transfer payments; CCT. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I38 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-gen and nep-hme
Date: 2016
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