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Trabajo y sociedad

versión On-line ISSN 1514-6871


MICHA, Ariela. The use and management of the Universal Child Allowance (AUH): between the "ought to be" and the economic autonomy of women. Trab. soc. [online]. 2019, n.32, pp.359-386. ISSN 1514-6871.

The Universal Child Allowance (AUH) is a non-contributory benefit implemented in Argentina in 2009, aimed at children (under 18 years old) of workers in the informal sector or unemployed. This policy includes conditionalities in education and health. Although it was not explicitly stated at the outset, among the adults collecting the transfer the percentage of women was very high, reaching a 98% in March 2016 (ANSES, 2016). Currently, as the Decree 614/2013 states, women are explicitly privileged to collect the money. The designation of women as the recipients of the transfer led to the debate about the role of women who act as the intermediaries between the State and the children, who are the final beneficiaries. Several studies problematize women's responsibility in fulfilling the conditions and hence the naturalization of their role as caregivers. In spite of this maternalism inscribed in the design of the policy, its effects and forms of appropriation by the women are diverse. This paper intends to contribute to this debate by focusing on the perceptions and experiences of the women who are heads of the AUH (designated as recipients of the transfer) in terms of the use and management of the transfer, and their ambivalent meanings. The potential gain in economic autonomy is explored, through a perspective that emphasizes the social meaning of money. The methodology used is qualitative, within the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires (AMBA).

Palabras clave : Universal Child Allowance; AMBA; Gender; Economic empowerment; Economic autonomy; Social meaning of money.

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