This study investigates gender dimensions of risks and the extent to which such risks are addressed in Indonesia’s social protection policy. It is structured around the following four areas: understanding the diversity of gendered economic and social risks; a gender analysis of social protection policy and design; effects of social protection on gender equality, food security and poverty/vulnerability reduction at the community, household and individual level; and implications for future policy and programming to improve social protection effectiveness. The study employs a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, including desk review, key informant interviews, a household questionnaire, focus group discussion and life histories. Based on data collected in two research sites, Tapanuli Tengah of North Sumatra province and Timor Tengah Selatan of East Nusa Tenggara province, the study found that, despite its prevalence, attention to gender inequality has been minimal in social protection policy. This owes particularly to lack of awareness of and commitment to gender issues among policymakers. In food security in particular, gender insensitivity results fundamentally from program design, which does not take into account women’s specific vulnerabilities in food access. The program has relatively equal impacts on men and women but has no significant impacts in relation to reducing specific risks and vulnerabilities facing women.