An assessment of the utilisation of the social cash transfers by households members from gender perspective,in Chipata District of Zambia,2006-2008
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This study was aimed at assessing the utilization of Social Cash Transfers at household level in Chipata district of eastern province of Zambia. The study was motivated by concerns that men utilize the Social Cash Transfers for personal reasons and on undesirable vices. In this study, the researcher sought to establish how Social Cash Transfer is utilised at household level. The sample was drawn using cluster and simple random sampling techniques. Respondents for the study were drawn from the Social Cash Transfer beneficiaries who were married, female household heads and their children. Others included staff from the department of Social Welfare, section chairpersons, committee members at both district and community levels. This sample was drawn from Dilika and Msanga wards which were the study sites. Data was collected by using guided questionnaires and focus group discussions while secondary data was collected from monitoring reports, payment orders, scheme review reports and school registers.The findings of the study indicate that almost all beneficiaries from both urban and peri-urban areas spent Social Cash Transfers mostly on food, school requirements and medical costs. The beneficiaries’ greatest challenge was that the Social Cash Transfers were too low to meet basic necessities including paying for school fees for their children in secondary schools. With regard to household decision making, the results show that participation of women in house hold decision making in the utilization of Social Cash Transfers in urban areas represents 37 per cent while in peri urban areas it represents 22 per cent. The difference is largely due to exposure for women in urban areas compared to their counter parts in the peri urban areas. The results have disclosed that children from female headed households were disadvantaged in accessing education compared to their counter parts from the male headed households. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that beneficiaries did not have complimentary support from anywhere. The findings have further shown that girls were not given equal opportunities to further their studies like boys largely due to stereotype cultural and economic factors such as preferring a girl child to be married to being in school.