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UN Women Policy Briefs

The UN Women policy brief series synthesizes research findings, analysis and policy recommendations on key policy areas around gender equality and women’s rights in an accessible format. The series aims to bridge the research and policy divide by identifying issues that require urgent policy attention and propose a set of suitable measures to address them. The series is a joint effort of UN Women’s Policy Division, coordinated by the Research and Data Section. To ensure the quality and relevance of the content, each brief undergoes a rigorous internal and external peer review process. These concise and relevant policy-oriented documents are useful resources for gender equality advocates, civil society and other policy actors working to achieve gender equality and women’s rights.

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Making National Social Protection Floors Work for Women

This brief synthesizes research findings, analysis and policy recommendations on making social protection floors work for women. The idea of a social protection floor (SPF) is now firmly established on the global development agenda. Defined as a set of minimum guarantees, including basic income security for children, working-age adults, older people and people with disabilities, as well as essential health care for all, SPFs hold promise for women, who are over-represented among those excluded from existing social protection schemes. To date, however, the integration of gender concerns in social protection has been uneven and ambiguous, with women’s specific risks and constraints not addressed. Drawing on cross-country evidence and experiences, this brief highlights promising ways to make SPFs work for women. Much can be done in terms of integrating gender into the design and implementation of programmes that promote income security across the life cycle, including cash transfers, public works programmes, and pensions. To provide long-term solutions, however, these efforts must be part of a broader package, including policies that enable women to access decent work—which remains the main source of income for most working-age adults and their families.

English Spanish, French

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