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Reading: Sexual Inequalities: A Queer Critique of Brazil’s ‘Bolsa Familia’ Programme

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Policy Brief

Sexual Inequalities: A Queer Critique of Brazil’s ‘Bolsa Familia’ Programme

Author:

Craig Bateman

GB
About Craig

MSc International Social and Public Policy
Class of 2019
London School of Economics and Political Science

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Abstract

Conditional cash transfers, direct payments to
families who meet government-specified conditions,
are well-established policy tools in developing contexts.
Brazil’s Bolsa Familia family grant is arguably the world’s
largest such scheme. It is celebrated by the World
Bank for helping to reduce urban poverty and teenage
fertility. Nonetheless, there is growing evidence that the
assumptions which underpin the scheme perpetuate
sexual inequalities. Indeed, same-sex couples were not
admitted until after judicial review in 2011 and payments
are disproportionately made to women in their perceived
role as natural caretaker of the home. In identifying these
sexual inequalities, this paper develops a queer critique
of Bolsa Familia. It questions the utilitarian basis upon
which social policies have been traditionally forged, and
offers a more individualised alternative which rests in the
notion of Universal Basic Income.

How to Cite: Bateman, C., 2020. Sexual Inequalities: A Queer Critique of Brazil’s ‘Bolsa Familia’ Programme. The Public Sphere: Journal of Public Policy, 8(1).
Published on 20 Mar 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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