Since her belly began to be noticed, Jennifer Araujó felt that they looked at her with contempt, as if she had done something wrong. He was 18 years old, went to school and lived in the Pirayuí neighborhood of the Correntina capital. “You feel the discrimination because people believe it is your fault. They say you opened your legs and that you will not take charge. I do not know what the situation of other girls is but I took care of my daughter,” says Jennifer , who finished school, has a blank job and is slowly building a house for her and her daughter.
Do not feel a victim. He simply wants to break the belief of 46% of Argentines who say that “the poor tend to have more children to collect the plans,” according to a national Voices study! made exclusively for the project
Invisible Networks of the NATION. This initiative aims to show how prejudices limit young people's opportunities in vulnerable contexts, and reinforce their situation of exclusion and poverty.
The official figures of
Anses on what is the profile of the beneficiaries of the Universal Assignment for Child (AUH) deny this and many other beliefs. 97% are women, they have an average of 1.7 children (more than half have only one child) and 47.4% of the headlines work. This means that, contrary to what almost half of the population thinks, the vast majority are not large families (only 2% have 5 children).
“Social plans are not a way of life. That is not enough for you. It is best to propose to yourself to want to get ahead. Study or work. In my case it was to work to get resources first and then study. Total there is no age to study. That's what they taught me, “says Jennifer, who only asks that they trust her, respect her and bet on her future.
All specialists point out that there is a lot of misinformation and that this creates a gap between what is believed and what is effectively the daily life of the poorest families. There are currently 3, 9 million children beneficiaries of the AUH and 4.8 million who receive family allowances. From December 2015 to today, the coverage of child allowances was expanded by almost 20%, according to Anses data.
Mothers juggle to make the $ 2,652 (of those who receive 80% during the month, and by the end of the year they must present the Notebook to collect the remaining 20%) to be able to buy diapers and milk for their child, but that does not It is enough for the rest of the house expenses. “People talk but don't know. You don't live on a plan. The one who says he lives on a plan, I give him my son and the plan, and he gets ready for a year to see if he has it as well as we do. That is a lie. A plan does not feed you. It is not enough, you have to work yes or yes, “says Raquel Bruzzo, Jennifer's mother.
It is not a plan
There are many prejudices – and errors – that exist in relation to the AUH and the first is to think that it is a social plan and that only the most vulnerable families collect money from the State for their children. “Social protection is a right for all children in the country. And depending on what employment status their parents are in, they have a different protection system. The positive thing about the AUH is that it managed to avoid intermediaries or arbitrariness. The relationship is direct with the State and that allows the construction of citizenship. “, Explains Fernanda Reyes, Director General of Children, Adolescents and Youth Projects of the Anses.
The State gives transfers for children to families of all income levels. Children with informal working parents charge AUH and those with formal working parents, even those with higher incomes, receive family allowances or income tax deductions.
“Income tax deductions, in certain cases, may even exceed the amount of the AUH. Moreover, there are more children who receive money from the State who have parents who have or had registered jobs than those who receive the AUH: Almost five million children receive contributory family allowances; more than one million have parents who deduct earnings; and four million receive AUH. While for the first two there is no limit of children per family, AUH has a ceiling of five children per family “, explains Matilde Karczmarczyk, analyst of the Social Protection program of
Another one of the phrases that is frequently heard to denounce women who charge AUH is that “the majority does not work and that this measure discourages work.” According to the survey ”
Analysis and improvement proposals to expand the AUH” made by
UNICEF and Anses in 2017, it was learned that 47.4% of the beneficiaries work. “They have an informal or changa job that supports them, and the AUH is the only monthly income that allows them to have a short or medium term forecast. The field studies we conduct indicate that families are actively seeking to improve your employment status. ” add Reyes.
What do mothers spend money on?
In the focus groups carried out by Voices! For the aforementioned survey, many stigmatizing phrases were heard in relation to the fact that mothers with less resources were irresponsible when spending AUH money. “These people don't give their children the basics, they don't get lice and come with new shoes and a cell phone”; “the boys are badly fed because they eat a lot of flours”; “With a little knowledge and skill, you can give a good quality of food to your child but it is easier to buy a package of cookies or chips” or “if you do not have to eat, do not go to buy an Iphone. What I say I think about what I hear. “
Reyes conducts tours with Anses teams throughout the country to analyze how AUH is being implemented. “What we could verify by talking with the families is that this silver is mostly aimed at the child. It goes for shoes, to cover food and school supplies,” says the official.
Most of the owners are between 25 and 35 years old and almost all of them are Argentine (only 1.36% of the beneficiaries are foreigners). There are many women beneficiaries who mistakenly believe that if they become “blank” they will lose social protection for their children. This is another myth. “Today the woman who is in an informal situation charging the AUH, if she goes into a formality situation, she will automatically begin to pay a family allowance. She does not lose the child's coverage. It is important to clarify and spread that the people who work in domestic service, a sector that continues to have a high degree of informality, they will continue charging the AUH even if they are formalized and have no income cap. ” says Reyes.
The list of prejudices, which increase the levels of rejection towards the most vulnerable women, is very extensive. One that weighs heavily is to believe that transfers to poor families who do not work are financed with the money of the contributing workers. “This is false. Unlike pensions, which depend on the contributions of workers, AUH, like any public policy, is fully financed with resources from the National Treasury,” says Karczmarczyk.
Reyes adds that stigmatization makes women who receive this right not even feel it as such. “Some feel ashamed even though they are entitled to the same as others. The law is the same. Prejudices increase the levels of fragmentation and violence. Knocking them down helps coexistence and to have a more egalitarian society.”
Half of Argentines believe that women have children to collect AUH