Gender

Women, men, boys, and girls should have equal opportunities to be healthy and to reach their full potential. Yet differing health-related needs and different social, economic, and cultural barriers to accessing care thwart the ability of certain groups to access and benefit from health care services. Gender is a social determinant of health across all countries and cultures. Gender gaps and issues affect access to, utilization of, and quality of care for women, men, boys, and girls. To truly improve the quality of all care for all, these gender gaps and issues must be explicitly recognized and addressed by providers, facilities, and health systems, and this is especially true in quality improvement activities. In this video, watch Dr. Taroub Harb Faramand of WI-HER, LLC explain how addressing gender considerations in improvement work leads to better outcomes.

Community Quality Improvement Team in Buikwe, Uganda

We take an improvement approach to integrate gender through the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) project. By collecting and analyzing sex-disaggregated data and systematically identifying and analyzing gaps in outcomes among women, men, boys and girls, we evaluate what is causing poorer outcomes among one group, and design activities to respond to the needs of males or females to close the gap. We do this in improvement activities across health areas and beyond, including non-communicable diseases (NCDs) programming, HIV and ART services, OVC services, and more. We promote partner involvement in programs targeting either males or females, such as engaging male partners and fathers in ANC visits and PMTCT programs to improve outcomes for mothers and babies, and engaging female partners of males who undergo the VMMC procedure to improve follow-up and decrease adverse events. 

Our innovative and effective six-step approach to identify and close gender-related gaps improves health outcomes for all, and we utilize locally-owned, culturally-sensitive, and innovative models. We recognize that myriad factors at multiple levels of society affect gender norms that influence risk factors, access to care, utilization of care, and equality of treatment and we work to respond to these norms in concert to generate shifts in thinking and behavior. We address gender gaps and issues at the individual, household, and community levels, when necessary, though staff and community sensitization trainings, and we consider the varied contextual factors that drive outcomes for women, men, boys, and girls in the design, implementation, and evaluation of our programs.

To learn more about gender and how to integrate gender in improvement work, download A Guide to Integrating Gender in Improvement.

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What We’ve Learned About Integrating Gender in Improvement

Julia Holtemeyer

Improvement Specialist for Gender and Knowledge Management, USAID ASSIST Project/WI-HER, LLC

(WI-HER, LLC President Dr. Taroub Faramand supports the ASSIST team in Tanzania to implement and monitor gender-related change ideas in their quality improvement work. Photo credit: WI-HER, LLC)

2017 REPSSI Forum: Equity, Equality for all Girls, Boys and Youth

Arusha, Tanzania

Dominican Republic Gender Analysis: A study of the impact of the Zika virus on women, girls, boys and men

The USAID ASSIST Project works in the Dominican Republic and other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to add quality Zika services to existing antenatal care, postpartum, and family planning services. The current outbreak of Zika virus in the Dominican Republic is having severe consequences on the lives and health of thousands of people.

Why it is Important to Sex-Disaggregate Data in Quality Improvement

The USAID ASSIST Project integrates gender considerations in quality improvement in order to improve outcomes for all — women and men, girls and boys. This video explains a critical part of gender integration in detail: collecting and analyzing sex-disaggregated data.

Empowering women health care workers through quality improvement

Taroub Faramand

Founder and President, WI-HER, LLC

(Staff at an ASSIST-supported health facility. Photo by Taroub Faramand, WI-HER, LLC)

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