Bolsa Família: Tackling Poverty while Promoting Women’s Empowerment in Brazil
Fantoni Custódio, Sabrina
Langer, Erick D.
This paper aims to explore how the largest Conditional Cash Transfer (CCTs) Program in the world, Brazil’s Bolsa Família, has been tackling poverty while allowing women’s empowerment across the country. Although Bolsa Família’s main goal is to eradicate poverty through a number of pre-conditions to be fulfilled by the participants, such as school attendance amongst children and health check-up visits, the program has been able to change the lives of its main beneficiaries, which are 94% of women, in multidimensional levels, such as personal, communal and familial. Through qualitative methods such as interviews and participant observation, combined with the most updated data on CCTs in Brazil provided by the Ministry of Social Development and the country’s main Research Institutes such as the Research Institute for Applied Economy (IPEA) and the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), this research reveals that empowerment occurred in the lives of the participants in the following forms: improved self-esteem, financial inclusion, increased decision-making power in addition to better and broader access to information regarding reproductive and women’s rights.
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