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#BeBoldForChange (one year on)

7 March 2018


On 7 March 2017, we made the commitment to become more conscious about how our work at THET is advancing gender equality. One year later, it is time for us to reflect upon the progress achieved and the work which has yet to be accomplished to reach this goal.

To take this mission forward, THET set up the Gender Equality task force. Consisting of staff in the UK, our overseas offices and trustees, the group looks at how gender equality can be better considered and promoted in all aspects of our work as a global organisation and has set out a number of objectives to reach this aim:

  1. Enhance our learning on gender equality and what is means for THET’s work

Let’s face it, we’re not gender experts but we have the passion and drive to contribute to the global struggle to achieving gender equality and making sure ‘no one is left behind’. Increasing our understanding, as an organisation, of gender and its implications for our work, puts us in a better position to support partners to consider gender as part of their health projects and integrate gender considerations into our own programmes.

In 2017, we organized brainstorming sessions with staff to explore their perspectives of what gender means for them in their daily life in the office as well as in terms of the impact it has on their jobs.  . As a cross-cutting issue, we aim to collaborate with other THET task forces leading work in different health themes to promote gender equality as part of their thinking. We have also started inviting experts to talk to our staff about gender as a social determinant to health and further inspire us to consider this in our work.

  1. Collect robust evidence on THET’s contribution to gender equality and develop recommendations for future work

THET’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), were introduced last year, with the overarching impact question: ‘how is our work accelerating gender equality?’. We continue to gather evidence of our contributions to gender equality through the KPIs including the health workers supported and people accessing the different health services through our programmes as well as how we consider gender across our different organisational activities. In consultation with staff, we have decided to keep the same KPI impact question for 2018 to continue to gather this evidence.

To mark International Women’s Day 2018 we are launching the #LetsTalkAboutGender initiative to encourage the health partnership (HPs) community to share their evidence, insights and experiences on how they are considering gender as part of their initiatives to support the health workforce and improve health systems in LMICs. We will use this information to better support HPs to consider gender as part of their work and promote gender equality more widely.

Now it is over to you! If you would like to take part then please do complete our short survey. Whilst all of the responses are anonymous they are key helping us to gather further evidence on how the health partnership community is contributing to the gender challenge. We hope that this along with our own organisational work will help to inform how we can work to further gender equity within our projects and programmes. Please do get in touch should you have any questions. We look forward to receiving your thoughts! If you’d like to take part, please click here.


  1. Embed gender equality into our existing work and piloting approaches that look at accelerating gender equality

In direct response to the DFID external evaluation of the Health Partnership Scheme which pointed out a need to consider the gender as part of health partnership work. To address this, we have taken a number of steps. First, we commissioned a study on gender within a health partnership, the study includes recommendations on how THET, partners and other stakeholders can better integrate gender as part of their projects.

Secondly, gender considerations and in particular how projects will benefit women and girls is a core focus of the projects funded by the Health Partnership Scheme this year. Projects awarded are addressing this in different ways including; improving access to health services for women, supporting community health workers to engage with women’s groups, and encouraging a more gender equal access to training among health workers from different cadres when possible, for example female biomedical engineers and male nurses.

  1. Contribute to discussions on gender equality with others in the global health field

We organised our Annual Conference which attracted 350 delegates. We were very pleased that the breakout session on ‘Gender dimensions in the health workforce’ was very well received and welcomed speakers including Dr Jenevieve Mannell, UCL, Rosalind Steege, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Danielle Jayes, Birmingham Children’s Hospital

  1. Ensure THET’s policies and practice as an international organisation abides in gender equality principles

We have a robust set of Policies which we enforce rigorously and ensure that gender equality remains a principle concern throughout the organisation. In light of the recent safeguarding breaches in our sector, we have commenced a thorough review of our policies and our Code of Conduct and we will be refreshing the training of all our staff.

We also continue to welcome guiding documents which inform our approaches, such as DFID’s latest strategy: DFID Strategic Vision for Gender Equality: A Call to Action for Her Potential, Our Future.

This post was written by:

Sophie Pinder - Lead of Gender Thematic Working Group - THET

1 Comment

  • Claudine
    08 Mar 2018 21:12
    Well done Sophie for this interesting article. Good luck for your projects for women in developing countries.

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