Gender equity and public policies in Latin America: Opportunities and risks in the PRS approach
The aim of this article is to investigate the extent to which the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) processes have contributed to gender equity in public policies in Bolivia, Honduras and Nicaragua. In theory, PRS processes offer opportunities for promoting gender equity through the participation of civil society in the elaboration of strategies and in their monitoring, and through the strategies themselves and their implementation. But many conditions need to be fulfilled and there are risks as well. The results are mixed. The contents of the national poverty reduction plans have not furthered gender equity, nor have the participation processes for the first Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers. However, later PRS consultation and monitoring processes have opened up some opportunities for gender interests to be heard and for successful engagement of womens organizations with bureaucrats. The PRS process also stimulated the development of thematic womens or gender equity plans, which in turn managed to favour some gender interests in public policies.