Unconditional cash transfers and women empowerment: The case of Benazir income support programme (BISP) in Pakistan
This study has explored the welfare impact of Benazir Income Support Program’s (BISP) unconditional cash transfers on women empowerment. The program was initiated in 2011 by the government of Pakistan. The impact has been computed by using two follow up rounds i.e, 2011 & 2016 where baseline was carried out in 2011 and follow-up round was carried out in 2016. Regression Discontinuity Design approach was used to measure casual effects of the BISP cash transfers on women empowerment by selecting target and control groups based on proxy means test. The overtime impact have been estimated by employing Difference in Difference (DiD) model on panel households from 2011-2016. The study observed that BISP led to improve socio-economic wellbeing of the beneficiary women. It has brought improvement in women mobility and women participation in voting. The important contribution is an improvement in the aspect of socio-economic and political empowerment and women mobility across time and overtime. This showed continues support for longer period brought desired results.