ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Role of Social Norms in the Receipt of Direct Benefit Transfers

Its Impact on Women at the Household Level

This paper examines how social norms affect the gendered experience of men and women receiving direct benefit transfer payments and its impact at the household level using three criteria: physical mobility, control over household decisions, and gender division of labour. It is found that women face far more challenges than men in availing these benefits.

Rameshwari (65) is a widow who lives with her son in a remote village in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, India. Her son owns a vegetable shop and takes care of the household expenditure. Rameshwari is usually dependent on her son for money for routine purchases. She is not involved in any paid economic activity, and the nearest bank or banking correspondent outlet is over 5 km from her village.

This excerpt is from a Microsave Consulting (MSC) study (Chatterjee et al 2019) on women’s financial inclusion in India. The report uses the example of Rameshwari to show that 23% of Indian women lack access to formal financial services. Some of the reasons behind this include restricted and defined gender roles. These barriers are rooted in pervasive social norms that prevent women’s access to resources.

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Updated On : 31st Mar, 2023
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