Respectful care: Building health systems that value and listen to women

International Women’s Day Tweet Chat Recap

To celebrate International Women’s Day, the USAID ASSIST Project and partners participated in an all-day Tweet Chat relay titled “Fostering Gender Equality Around the World.” This is a recap of the conversation during the URC-led hour featuring the USAID ASSIST Project. You can find recaps of each hour as they become available here.

Q1: What does 'respectful care' for women mean to you?

  • “Respectful care for women takes into account their health needs, wants & fears.” - @usaidassist
  • “Respectful care for women means knowing local gender norms, barriers, ensuring confidentiality, respecting women's autonomy!” - @WIHERllc
  • “In study of preferences for maternal svcs, respect rated higher than skill/gender of health worker.” - @HFGProject
  • “It means listening to what they want and need BEFORE providing care.” - @SarahVivianMPH

Q2: What is your organization doing to strengthen respectful care for women?

  • “We integrate gender into a people-centered approach to health care to respectful care for women:” - @usaidassist
  • “We practice "Do No Harm" to ensure our initiatives don't inadvertently reinforce harmful gender norms or hurt stakeholders!” - @WIHERllc
  • “We are giving women access to health innovations they did not have before such as clean birth kits & female condoms” - @TheLevelMarket
  • “In Swaziland, we helped ensure that nursing competencies include respectful care towards women” - @HFGProject

Q3: How can we integrate gender in health care improvement efforts?

  • “We can start by identifying gender issues & dynamics in the provision of health care. Collecting sex-disaggregated data lets us identify gaps & monitor their change over time. Document & share learning to spread your success!” - @usaidassist
  • “Make sure knowledge assessment data includes the needs of women as well as men” - @K4Health
  • “Developing a gender policy & training all-level staff, collecting/analyzing sex-aggregated data to find gaps & make changes!” - @WIHERllc

Learn more about how ASSIST integrates gender in health care improvement work.

Q4: What does gender equality in health care look like?

  • “Both men and women can access the care they need – when they need it, where they need it, w/o undue financial burden” - @HFGProject
  • “Women & men's unique needs equitably met w/ quality care, gender barriers accounted for, staff trained on gender equity!” - @WIHERllc
  • “Everyone has equal access to quality health care - regardless of gender, race, socioeconomic status, location, etc!” - @aninatd

Q5: We say we should 'listen to women.' What does that look like in practice?

  • “In our work, a practical step is to ensure female staff & patients are involved in QI teams & improvement efforts” - @usaidassist
  • “Women understand their own needs/challenges best, listening means respecting her choices & giving informed/quality support!” - @WIHERllc

Q6: How do we build the capacity of health care workers to promote gender equality on the front lines of care?

  • “We must dismantle obstacles so women can play active roles in political & decision-making processes” - @Asia_Foundation
  • “Establishing equitable working environments for males & females & routine #gender training are key for ensuring quality care!” - @WIHERllc
  • “Include in training! In Swaziland, nursing competencies now include respectful care towards women” - @HFGProject
  • “Diversity. Hear from all sectors of society to understand societal dynamics and tailor comms & programs accordingly” - @TheLevelMarket

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in this lively and thought-provoking chat! Do you have any comments or answers to these questions? Leave your thoughts in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!

Want to learn more about how to improve care for #MomAndBaby? Check out our new guide: 

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