Gender Dimension of the Social Protection Index: Assessing Results for Asia and the Pacific

Date: May 2014
Type: Papers and Briefs
Series: ADB Briefs
ISBN: 978-92-9254-542-0 (print), 978-92-9254-543-7 (web)
ISSN: 2071-7202 (print), 2218-2675 (web)
Author: Handayani, Sri Wening


This paper presents the findings from a research project on the Social Protection Index, which assesses the extent to which gender has been incorporated in social protection programs. The Social Protection Index is a measure of central government social protection expenditures relative to all potential beneficiaries assessed against poverty line expenditures in a country. It can be disaggregated in various ways to capture the magnitude, reach, and effectiveness of social protection programs.

The objective of this paper is to provide analysis on the gender dimensions of social protection in Asia and the Pacific. This analysis will help policy makers consider and incorporate gender issues in developing and expanding social protection policies, strategies, and programs.

Key points

  • Overall, women received fewer benefits and less coverage from social protection programs.
  • Women also have less equitable access to social insurance than men but appear less disadvantaged in terms of social assistance and labor market programs.
  • In Asia and the Pacific, public expenditure for social protection programs for women is about 1.15% of gross domestic product (GDP) while that for men is 1.6% of GDP.
  • Greater attention must be given to gender-related dimensions in the design and implementation of social protection programs to support inclusive growth in the region.