4 March 2021
The Women in Global Health UK chapter is now up and running – welcome to our first blog! Who are we, what do we hope to achieve and what does 2021 have in store?
For the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated global health discourse. However, this past year has also borne a long-awaited network for all self-identifying women and allies working in global health for those of us based in the United Kingdom. The Women in Global Health UK chapter – launched in 2020 in partnership with the Faculty of Public Health – supports the work of the global WGH movement, which strives to unite champions of gender equity in advocating for equity in global health leadership by operating through over twenty-three chapters (and counting!).
This International Women’s Day, we want to highlight the importance of collective and inclusive action when it comes to thinking global and acting local. It is unacceptable that despite women being the backbone of our healthcare system as key workers globally, there are fewer female leaders from the Global South than leaders who attended Harvard University. Our local chapter seeks to go a step further by centring our work on gender issues relevant to the four nations of the UK and the distinct needs of each region. In particular, our chapter prides itself on a diverse mix of backgrounds and expertise in our 19-member committee, ranging from epidemiology and human rights law all the way to youth engagement and broadcast journalism.
We have big plans for the coming year in terms of building our strategy, engaging with members and collaborating with other groups working in this area. Having collected responses from our needs-assessment survey, we will review this data on what women working in global health in the UK think our priorities should be; this will be the basis of our strategic framework and determine the events, workstreams and even media platforms we hope to develop for the coming year. I am Lois King, WGH UK’s blog editor and 2nd year PhD student in global health governance. Personally, I most look forward to connecting with our members on thought-provoking pieces on areas such as the true meaning of decolonising global health and bringing the Scottish Black perspective into our work. We will continue to introduce the rest of our committee as the months pass so you will be able to put a face to the name and get to know the people working behind the scenes that keep our chapter running.
Join our mailing list for newsletter updates as we document our journey, release more blogs and even get podcast discussions on the go. For this and any ideas you might have to inspire or collaborate with us, drop us an email at email@example.com, and be sure to follow us on Twitter at @WGHUK. Just as COVID-19 has reminded us of the importance of fostering a strong community in the face of adversity, we welcome all to join us as members to work towards gender equity in global health, together.