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.

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...

Los asuntos de género que influyen en la respuesta frente al Zika en Guatemala

El proyecto de USAID Aplicando la Ciencia para Fortalecer y Mejorar los Sistemas de Salud (ASSIST), trabaja a nivel mundial desde el año 2012 para mejorar la calidad y los resultados de la atención en salud y de otros servicios,...

Male Partner Engagement in Antenatal Care and Zika-related Health Care

The Zika virus, transmitted through mosquito bites, through mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy or through sexual contact, spread rapidly across 27 countries in the Western Hemisphere from 2015 through 2017.1 If a pregnant women...

Eastern and Southern Caribbean: Gender Considerations in the Context of Zika Emergency Response Programming

After arriving in Brazil in May 2015, Zika virus rapidly swept across the Americas. By February 2016, the World Health Organization declared Zika virus infection a Public Health Emergency of International Concern due to its associations...

Gender Issues Influencing Zika Response in Antigua

To better the understand the real-time situation of Zika-related health services for women, men, couples and families, project stakeholders commissioned this gender analysis to look at existing services, challenges, and opportunities. The...

Gender Issues Influencing Zika Response in Paraguay

There are various programs that promote practices to prevent vector-borne and sexually-transmitted Zika and link families with children affected by Zika to the care they need. However, to respond to these needs most effectively, and to...

Jamaica: Gender Considerations in the Context of Zika Emergency Response Programming

After arriving in Brazil in May 2015, Zika virus rapidly swept across the Americas. By January 2016 it had reached the island of Jamaica, and according to statistics reported to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World...

Gender Issues Influencing Zika Response in Dominica

To better the understand the real-time situation of Zika-related health services for women, men, couples,and families, project stakeholders commissioned this gender analysis to look at existing services, challenges, and opportunities. The...

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