A study by the Brazilian Ministry of Social Development has found that 90% of the people who actually manage Bolsa FamÀlia (Family Allowance) funds, the government cash grant of up to US$ 42 a month, are women. And many of them are unemployed, living on income from informal activities.
Rômulo Paes, of the ministry, says other studies have shown that women are more equitable in distributing funds among family members. “They give preference to those who need it the most,” he explained.
Paes went on to say that another survey is in the pipeline on the impact the program is having on the lives of women. “As they handle this money, they are doing something they have never done before. This alters the dynamics of the family relationship. Women are more respected when they manage money for the family,” he said.
Paes also announced that the ministry will study the Bolsa Família program, which is part of the Zero Hunger initiative, impact on health, education and eating habits. “The ministry intends to run a 5-year study on some 15,000 families,” he said.