Concepts, Research, Policy
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Edited by Sylvia Chant
Chapter 37: Gender and Ethnicity in the Shaping of Differentiated Outcomes of Mexico’s Progresa-Oportunidades Conditional Cash Transfer Programme
37 Gender and ethnicity in the shaping of differentiated outcomes of Mexico’s ProgresaOportunidades conditional cash transfer programme Mercedes González de la Rocha Social impacts of economic crises, economic liberalisation and other local, regional, national and global changes are gender-differentiated. Women have been found to carry a heavier load of work and responsibilities when transformations in the economy occur (Benería, 1992; González de la Rocha, 1994). Since the 1990s, congruent with trends in Latin American social policy as a whole, programmes and policies related to poverty have enjoyed unparalleled priority throughout the whole region (Abel and Lewis, 2002). Social policy was redefined as a result, amongst other factors, of the post-Washington Consensus, which recognised that the social deficit accumulated during the years of crises and restructuring must be dealt with by social policy, which demanded that reducing poverty be the ultimate and primary objective of social programmes (Fine, 2001; Molyneux, 2006). During the late 1990s, after prolonged and successive economic turmoil, social policy in Mexico experienced a significant upturn. In 1997, the Programa de Educación, Salud y Alimentación (Education, Healthcare and Nutrition Programme) was created. Known by its Spanish acronym, PROGRESA, this programme was the predecessor of the current Oportunidades and, since its creation, has focused on the application of conditional disbursals with the aim to influence – through improvements to diet, healthcare and education in the country’s poorest families – the formation and strengthening of human capital in order to break the cycle of intergenerational reproduction of...
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