It buys food but does it change gender relations? child support grants in Soweto, South Africa

Leila Patel, Tessa Hochfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


A gender lens was applied in an empirical study to assess the dynamics and policy implications of one of South Africa's largest social protection programmes, the Child Support Grant (CSG). The findings are based on a household survey conducted in an urban community in Soweto, South Africa. They suggest that the grant supports women's ability to control and allocate resources, and that this has a positive mpact on household food security. While the CSG eases women's burden of care and responsibility for household and child survival, women remain largely responsible for caring and looking after families. This prevails despite increased opportunities for women in society and some small shifts in gender relations in urban areas. Social protection policies such as the CSG do not on their own transform gender relations. To ensure that they contribute to gender transformation, they need to work in concert with other public policies that are specifically designed to support changes toward gender equality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-240
Number of pages12
JournalGender and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Child support grants
  • Gender and social protection
  • Gender relations
  • Social policies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


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