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.

Gender Considerations in Monitoring and Evaluation

Why collect sex-disaggregated and gender-sensitive data? In many contexts, women, men, girls, and boys have different needs and face different social, economic, and cultural barriers that can affect their ability to access and benefit from...

A Gender Lens across the Health Sector; Reflections from the CORE Group Spring Meeting

Elizabeth Romanoff Silva

USAID ASSIST Project/WI-HER
Dr. Taroub Harb Faramand, President of WI-HER, LLC, presents at the CORE Group Spring 2014 Conference

Last week marked the semi-annual CORE Group Spring 2014 Global Health Practitioner Conference, hosted in Silver Spring May 6-9, 2014. My biggest take-away from the CORE Group meeting is that there is an obvious interest in gender integration across programs, and practitioners must have a gender lens to everything they do in the health sector. Our USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project’s gender team had the opportunity to present in three sessions specifically about our gender work through ASSIST at the CORE Group Spring Meeting.

Gender Integration in Quality Improvement: Activities and lessons learned from the USAID ASSIST Project

USAID ASSIST Senior Gender Technical Advisor, Dr. Taroub Harb Faramand, MD, MPH, and President of WI-HER LLC (Women Influencing Health, Education and Rule of Law), will lead a presentation on gender integration through the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project at USAID.

Dr. Taroub Harb Faramand, MD, MPH, President of WI-HER LLC

This presentation will describe how the USAID ASSIST Project integrates gender by incorporating modern improvement techniques to identify and overcome gender-related issues and barriers to achieve better outcomes for women, men, boys and girls.  The presentation will focus specifically on gender integration activities in the Safe male circumcision (SMC), Non-communicable diseases, and in PMTCT programming.  It will describe gender integration planning methods and will also discuss the use of sex-disaggregated data for improvement and illustrate how to move from analysis to intervention through stories from the field. The presentation will also share relevant tools developed for the USAID ASSIST Project which have aided the project to integrate gender and track progress, such as multi-facility and multi-region improvement databases for collecting and analyzing sex-disaggregated data. We will also share lessons learned and examples of what does not work.

Is female participation in voluntary medical male circumcision of any value? Experiences from Uganda

John Byabagambi

Improvement Advisor, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

Uganda adopted voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) as part of its comprehensive HIV prevention strategy in 2009. From its inception, the service was designed to target males and most of the efforts were focused on ensuring that as many males as possible were circumcised. In December 2012, a PEPFAR interagency team conducted an external quality assessment for the Uganda program and found several quality gaps. One of the major gaps was the lack of a system for continuous quality improvement.

The Potential of m/eHealth to Improve Systems, Care, and Gender Relations

Elizabeth Romanoff Silva

USAID ASSIST Project/WI-HER

“Every system is perfectly designed to achieve exactly the results it achieves.” USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Deputy Director Kathleen Hill shared this quote from Deming with an audience of more than 40 leading experts in technology, health care, and international development that gathered on January 31st in Washington, D.C. for an m/eHealth Health System Strengthening technical working group meeting.

International Women’s Day: What I Celebrate

Taroub Faramand

Founder and President, WI-HER, LLC

March 8th marks International Women’s Day, and it offers an excellent opportunity to reflect on contributions and progress made to improve the lives of women and girls in the past year, identify where inequalities still prevent women and girls from realizing their full potential, and advocate for further changes to increase equal opportunities for women and girls.

Integration of Depression and Alcohol Abuse Screening and Care Practices in Primary Care Settings for Women in Albania, Armenia, Georgia, and Russia

The Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health initiative has identified the integration of screening and core packages of mental health services into routine primary health care as a research priority. Many people present in primary care...

Bringing Women on Board in Safe Male Circumcision in Uganda

Jude Thaddeus Ssensamba

Quality Improvement Officer, Uganda, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

As part of our discussion with facility health workers during a technical support visit to eastern Uganda Nankoma Health Centre IV, Bugiri District, I asked for some experiences on cases where women have not been involved in Safe Male Circumcision. One of the health workers in the group had this experience to share:

Meeting the Different Needs of Boys and Girls in Services for Vulnerable Children

This technical brief describes the different needs of boys and girls requiring Vulnerable Children services. It describes key gender issues five priority service areas: access to education, health and nutrition, psychosocial support,...

Addressing the Needs of Men, Women, Boys and Girls in HIV and ART Services

This 4-page flyer is designed to provide a quick reference for improvement specialists, clinicians, health workers and implementing partners working in HIV and ART services. It highlights three key gender issues: lower utilization and...

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