When cash transfers are safely sent directly to women, they have the potential to address gender inequities by helping women meet basic needs, access essential services, and invest in income-generating activities. But prioritizing women as the primary recipients of cash transfer programs, and thus diverging from traditional practices where men are the heads of households, raises concerns about intimate partner violence (IPV). This report examines existing evidence on the impact of cash transfers on IPV against women and proposes design approaches to mitigate and minimize those risks. While the report primarily focuses on evidence related to reducing the risk of IPV following cash transfers to women on behalf of households, it also underscores the potential that sending cash to women has for reducing existing IPV. The objective is to foster a constructive dialogue and encourage governments and humanitarian organizations implementing cash transfer programs to prioritize women as the recipients of cash on behalf of their households whenever feasible, while ensuring their safety and adequate support.  

This series — created in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP), the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — shares how we can improve the design and delivery of digital cash transfers for low-income women. 


Mayada El-Zoghbi

Former Managing Director

A veteran and leader in financial inclusion, Mayada El-Zoghbi served as CFI’s Managing Director from September 2019 – May 2023. Mayada also worked as Lead for Strategy, Research & Development for CGAP, where she led CGAP’s strategy development and its research on women’s financial inclusion, financial services in crisis environments, and other emerging topics. Prior to this, she managed CGAP’s work with the donor and investor community-based in Paris, France. From 2002 to 2009, Mayada founded and managed a development consulting firm. She has also led numerous technical assistance, evaluation, and research assignments, served as a research director for a USAID initiative, and lectured at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Mayada started her career working with several non-profit organizations establishing inclusive financial institutions in the Palestinian Territories, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Kosovo.

Swati Mehta

Financial Inclusion Consultant

Swati is a development researcher with over 14 years of experience advising businesses, international development organizations, and governments on ways to ensure inclusive development, especially when using digital pathways. She has worked on the interconnected themes of digital financial inclusion, financial literacy, women’s economic empowerment, digital livelihoods, and consumer protection. Swati has worked with GIZ and MicroSave Consulting, where she worked on advancing digital financial inclusion in Asia and Africa. She holds a Ph.D. in economic geography and is a German Chancellor Fellow 2017-2018. She has conducted extensive research on the financial transitions of refugees in Jordan and Germany, specifically exploring the role of digital financial services. Swati’s contributions are disseminated through academic papers, reports, essays, blogs, and articles. She currently serves as a consultant for various development organizations.

Explore More

Privacy as Product, FSP designers
Toolkits and Guides

Privacy as Product: Privacy by Design for Inclusive Finance

Sign up for updates

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.