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).