Gender and Development Policy in Chile: the Aid Programme to Female Heads of Households

  • Mònica Badia Ibáñez
Part of the St Antony’s Series book series


The Chilean neo-liberal approach to welfare has received much attention due to its emphasis on poverty reduction and on income generation through increasing access to the labour market. This chapter focuses on the Aid Programme to Female Heads of Households (Programa Mujeres Jefas de Hogar de Escasos Recursos or PMJH), in order to examine the potential of this strategy to alleviate poverty. The core elements of the programme constitute what are considered at present to be the main aspects of an innovative social policy — an integrated approach, targeting, decentralization, and participation. The analysis of the PMJH as a case study is appealing because it reflects the particular policy and strategy that the Chilean government has adopted as the means to achieve gender equity and poverty alleviation. It is also interesting to examine the extent to which the PMJH has achieved its stated goals of interlinking policies of equality of opportunities with those of poverty alleviation and of decentralization. This analysis of the PMJH raises five main issues that are pertinent to wider debates about poverty reduction policy. First, the PMJH illustrates the tensions that exist between innovative programmes and the institutional framework in which social policy operates. Secondly, it draws attention to the way in which gender issues in development appear to have collapsed into a poverty trap. Thirdly, it addresses the controversial question of targeting female heads of households for anti-poverty interventions.


Labour Market Female Head Social Policy Poverty Alleviation Social Programme 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2002

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  • Mònica Badia Ibáñez

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