Gender-sensitive social protection and the MDGs

Gender dynamics cut across all of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but are explicit in only two: MDG3 on gender equality and MDG5 on maternal mortality. This is too narrow, and overlooks other gender-specific risks and vulnerabilities.

This Briefing Paper argues that policy dialogue on the MDGs must recognise that the goals are linked by the gender dynamics of power, poverty and vulnerability. It says that gender-sensitive social protection can contribute to the goals, but only if gender equality is seen as critical to programme effectiveness. Advances in gender-sensitive programme design are being made but more investment is needed to build the capacity of programme staff and participants to strengthen implementation outcomes.