Assessing and Addressing the Feminization of Poverty: Case Study of the Social Development Fund in Senegal


More than one billion people in the world live on less than one dollar a day and in most countries women seem to suffer more from poverty. Consequently, poverty alleviation has moved to the center of the international development agenda in the past 20 years. In this context the Social Development Fund (SDF) was launched in Senegal in 2000 as a World Bank funded initiative aims at addressing poverty in general and female poverty in particular.

This paper is a case study of the Social Development Fund. It attempts to find out how well the Fund meets its gender-related objectives in particular vis a vis female poverty, and how its work could be improved.

Applying a gender analysis framework to the Social Development Fund, the paper concludes that the Fund’s stated commitment to gender equality and women’s economic empowerment does not translate yet in bold and ambitious action.

The subsequent recommendations are aimed at improving the work of the Social Development Fund and providing a basis for further research on the gender dimension of poverty alleviation programs.


Growth and Development | International Economics | Women's Studies

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