FAO Technical Guide 1: Introduction to gender-sensitive social protection programming to combat rural poverty: Why is it important and what does it mean?

Many social protection programmes, including cash transfers, public works programmes and asset transfers, target women as main beneficiaries or recipients of benefits. Extending social protection to rural populations has great potential for fostering rural women’s economic empowerment. However, to tap into this potential, more needs to be done. There is much scope for making social protection policies and programmes more gender sensitive and for better aligning them with agricultural and rural development policies to help address gender inequalities. Recognizing this potential and capitalizing on existing evidence, FAO seeks to enhance the contribution of social protection to gender equality and women’s empowerment by providing country-level support through capacity development, knowledge generation and programme support.To move forward this agenda, FAO has developed the Technical Guidance Toolkit on Gender-sensitive Social Protection Programmes to Combat Rural Poverty and Hunger. The Toolkit is designed to support SP and gender policy-makers and practitioners in their efforts to systematically apply a gender lens to SP programmes in ways that are in line with global agreements and FAO commitments to expand inclusive SP systems for rural populations. The Toolkit focuses on the role of SP in reducing gendered social inequalities, and rural poverty and hunger.