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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2011): Social security - overseas

Conditionality and social security in a global context

K. Hujo and E. Gaia (guest editors) Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, vol.19, 2011, p. 3-38

This themed section brings together three different but complementary perspectives on the use of conditions in social welfare programmes. It offers a stocktaking article on the origins, aims and achievements of conditional cash transfers, a case study on the Child Support Grant in South Africa, and an assessment of the ethical, moral and ideological underpinnings of these schemes. Together these articles present some insights into the varying and controversial views about what is increasingly proclaimed as an emerging consensus in favour of relating behavioural conditionality to cash transfers, especially for families with children.

Gendering welfare: lone mothers' experiences of welfare-to-work programmes in Hong Kong

S.L. Hung and K.K. Fung

Social Policy and Society, vol. 10, 2011, p. 177-189

The impact of welfare regimes on women can be identified by exploring their subjective experiences, but such an approach is largely absent from debates in Hong Kong. This article attempts to fill this gap by examining the gendered impact of welfare regimes at the individual and community levels, using lone mothers as an illustration. The authors conducted a small-scale qualitative research project to examine how the state regulates the lives of lone mothers via its social welfare policies. The voices of the lone mothers themselves illustrate their experiences of welfare-to-work programmes. The findings show that the women are torn between childcare responsibilities and work requirements and are in danger of becoming failures as both mothers and workers.

Helping partnered women into work

J. Ingold

Working Brief, Feb. 2011, p. 13-14

This article presents findings from research about helping women from workless couples into jobs in Australia and Denmark, with the aim of policy learning for Britain. In its examination of Australian and Danish activation programmes for this group, the research focuses on conditionality and sanctions, employment assistance, and childcare provision.

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