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Parallel session 1.1: What does it take to operationalise a gender-transformative approach to social protection design and delivery in the face of covariate shocks?

This session was hosted by STAAR (Social Protection Technical Assistance, Advice, and Resources Facility).

Alicia Herbert, Director of Education, Gender and Equalities, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), moderated the discussion amongst the following panelists:

  • Dr Ahmad Abuhaidar, International Social Protection and Gender Equality Expert, Jordan
  • Dr Michal Rutkowski, Global Director for Social Protection and Jobs, World Bank
  • Mansi Shah, Senior Technical Advisor, Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)
  • Dr Constanze Tabbush, Research Specialist, UN Women

This session explored how to strengthen gender-responsive and transformative approaches in adaptive social protection systems. It highlighted the different types of inequalities and specific needs of women and girls across the life course and in different types of crisis contexts. It also considered how social protection systems can be better equipped to tackle these challenges – through their design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and systems – resulting in improved outcomes and opportunities for women and girls.

The following points were explored:

  • Crises have gender-differentiated impacts and deepen existing inequalities. Women and girls face specific and heightened risks in crises, include increased exposure to violence and insecurity, restrictions on their mobility, school drop-out with high risks of girls not returning to school, longer-term job losses and additional care, domestic and livelihood responsibilities.
  • Women working in the informal sector are particularly vulnerable to the challenges presented by climate shocks. The health and livelihoods of e.g. salt mine workers, street traders and construction workers (India) are being threatened in concrete ways by extreme heat, yet because of family responsibilities they do not have the flexibility to adjust their working hours as men do. Climate, poverty and social protection are interconnected. Safety nets which provide holistic protection are needed.
  • Women and girls face particular challenges in cases of displacement. These include legal and civil status; lack of access to formal employment, financial services, and other services; safety and security; and increases in hate speech and social tensions.
  • Social protection can help to close gender gaps. Five elements are critical: 1) Benefits should be paid to women; 2) Programmes which combine cash payments with skills or training (‘Cash plus’) promote sustainable livelihoods; 3) Differential care burdens between men and women must be factored into social protection programmes, e.g. public works programmes; 4) Cash transfers and complementary measures can reduce gender-based violence; 5) Invest in gender data at all levels.
© GIZ/Steffen Kugler
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