Integrating Gender Considerations in the Zika Response: Activities of WI-HER, LLC on the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems Project
Under ASSIST, WI-HER provided technical assistance to integrate and mainstream gender in Zika emergency response programs in affected Latin American and Caribbean countries. This included conducting gender assessments, gender integration capacity building activities with local ASSIST staff, Ministry of Health staff, and other partners in country, providing ongoing technical support for scale-up of gender integration trainings and implementation of gendertransformative interventions, and developing knowledge management products. Across all countries, WI-HER aimed to strengthen systems in the context of emergency preparedness for Zika and any future outbreaks related to mosquito-borne or sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, our work in Zika in gender was closely related to reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH), and we worked to advance RMNCH service delivery. Finally, WI-HER aimed to build sustainable systems. Gender work helps us address root causes and transforms the way individuals see themselves and how communities look at equality and equity of services. Our gender approach (iDARE) enables sustainability by building local capacity in teams and communities to monitor progress and broaden their ability in quality improvement (QI). Through this process, WI-HER is committed to changing today, but also contributes to thejourney to self-reliance and sustainability, working with local partners and governments to lead to transformational change.