7 March 2018
Gender is a social construct based on roles, responsibilities, expectations and functions attributed to individuals in both private and public life that are determined by societal norms which vary across and within cultures. These variances in perception result in diverse behaviours towards people, which in turn lead to different health needs not being addressed, gender-based discrimination and unequal opportunities within the health workforce, increased health risks, and barriers in accessing health care. These issues are often exacerbated by other social factors such as income, education, age, place of residence and ethnicity.
Despite significant achievements against the UN Millennium Development Goals from 1990 to 2015, including an almost 44% decline in maternal mortality, the narrowing of the gap in literacy rates between women and men, and a 57% increase in the number of women in parliaments, gender inequality persists today (UN Women, 2015). The post-2015 agenda recognises that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) cannot be reached if gender disparities are not considered and dedicates SDG 5 to gender equality and women’s empowerment (UN, SDGs).
Through its programmatic work, THET and the health partnership community has the unique opportunity to contribute to achieving gender equality in health by adopting a gender equity approach at different levels of work and truly contribute to leaving no one behind.
This is why we are launching the #LetsTalkAboutGender movement, a consultation exploring how health partnerships are considering and contributing to accelerating gender equality through their work.
Health partnerships, we would like to hear about your contributions, no matter the scale or perceived significance, to advancing gender equality and the challenges that you face in this task including
(1) within the health workforce, through your efforts to train and support health workers and strengthen health systems;
(2) in the access to health care services for all, by considering and supporting equal access to quality health care among LMIC communities .
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!