Women’s Access to Cash Transfers in Light of COVID-19: The Case of Pakistan

How to ensure more women are able to access emergency cash programs

Around the world, cash transfer programs are being rolled out by governments to mitigate economic hardship brought on by the ongoing pandemic. In Pakistan, the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program was introduced in April and rolled out to four groups of beneficiaries, largely relying on mobile phone registrations and requiring a national ID to register. Due to large gender gaps in mobile phone ownership and national ID possession, women are at risk of being disproportionately excluded from the program.

This policy note highlights Pakistan’s Ehsaas Emergency Cash program as a case study, as well as several other examples of cash transfer programs mobilized by governments in light of COVID-19, to reflect how this sort of preliminary analysis can be done.

About this Publication

By Shelby Bourgault & Megan O'Donnell