Making Social Protection Gender-Responsive - Lessons from UN Women’s Work in the Eastern Caribbean (Policy Brief)

There is broad-based agreement today that universal social protection systems are a desirable goal. For gender equality advocates, it is paramount to take advantage of this momentum to ensure that such systems benefit women by responding to their rights and needs. Well-designed social protection systems can narrow gender gaps in poverty rates, enhance women’s income security and access to personal income, and provide a lifeline for poor women, especially single mothers. The current context of economic stagnation and fiscal adjustment, however, places big constraints on the investments needed to achieve these goals. How can gender equality advocates engage with social protection advocacy in this context? This policy brief showcases the strategies that were used by UN Women’s Multi-Country Office in the Caribbean to promote gender-responsive social protection in a context where reforms have been driven mainly by efforts to reduce public debt and promote economic competitiveness.