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.

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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)

Gender Analysis Tools

These Gender Analysis Tools are a series of three worksheets to help you conduct a gender analysis or review what you know about gender issues in your work. The first helps you to identify key gender relations and power disparities, the second helps you to synthesize what you have identified and how it will affect your activities, and the third helps you to plan how to use what you have learned from the gender analysis.

Click here to see the Tools.

Strengthening integrated family planning/maternal and neonatal health postpartum services and associated health system functions in Niger

Family planning (FP) is known to be one of the highest impact interventions for reducing maternal and child mortality, yet in Niger, there is a high unmet demand for family planning services. With support from the Ministry of Public Health and the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project, improvement teams in two hospitals and 14 health centers in Niger incorporated client-centered family planning services in their routine postpartum care, with an eye towards improving client choice and adherence to the selected FP method.

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