Over the past ten years an ever growing epistemic community has advanced a paradigm considering women as the principal agent in the struggle against poverty. In Southern countries, it is embodied in a specific series of policies, projects and programmes, supported by the major international organisations and defended by NGOs and opinion leaders. Recent research shows to what extent this issue embraces contradictory aspects.
In many cases the "feminisation of the struggle against poverty" entails strengthening the stereotyping of women and an increase in the traditional roles of "care" attributed to women. These ambiguities were reinforcing the need for international comparative studies attempting to answer some central questions: How and in what way has this type of discourses, policies and programmes been adopted by countries in the south? What are the strategies of different kinds of actors concerning the implementation of Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) programs? How are these narratives entangled with local cultures and the specific structures and gender relations in which they are embedded? How do people from different communities react to the implementation of CCT programmes and why? What are the results of these programmes in different southern countries? Have they reinforced or deteriorated the position of women in society and have they contributed effectively to fight poverty? Under which conditions are these programmes efficient? The research project was based on a comprehensive study of the implementation of Gender Discourses and Cash Transfers programmes in three countries: Brazil, the Philippines and Mozambique.