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 and Gender-based Violence in Medical and Nursing Curricula in Nicaraguan Universities

In Nicaragua, the USAID ASSIST Project supports the application of continuous quality improvement to integrate HIV prevention and treatment topics in the medical and nursing training programs in nine universities. Baseline data clearly...

Approche en six étapes pour identifier et combler les écarts liés au genre

Le projet Application de la science pour le renforcement et l’amélioration des systèmes (ASSIST) de l’USAID utilise une approche holistique et efficace de l’intégration des genres dans l’amélioration de la qualité des soins de santé. Le...

Understanding what ‘integrated people-centered health services’ means

Julia Holtemeyer

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

Earlier this year, at the Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly, WHO Member States officially adopted the Framework on integrated people-centred health services (IPCHS). Designed to support increasing timely access to essential health services, the Framework proposes the following five critical shifts in health care systems to make them more people-centered:

Six-step approach to identify and close gender-related gaps

ASSIST uses a holistic approach to gender integration in health care quality improvement. ASSIST partner WI-HER, LLC developed an innovative and effective six-step approach to help ASSIST teams integrate gender into improvement activities...

Répondre aux besoins des hommes, des femmes, des garçons et des filles dans les services de VIH et ART

La thérapie antirétrovirale (ART) et les soins pour le VIH axés sur le patient étayent le maintien de la productivité et de la qualité de vie des personnes affectées en fonction de leurs besoins, de leurs préférences de mode de vie et de...

VIDEO : Approche en 6 étapes pour identifier et combler les écarts liés au genre

Le partenaire d’ASSIST, WI-HER, LLC, a mis au point une approche innovante et efficace en 6 étapes pour aider les équipes d’ASSIST à intégrer le genre dans les activités d’amélioration pour identifier et combler les écarts liés au genre...

Meeting the nutritional needs of men, women, boys, and girls in families affected by HIV

Megan Ivankovich

Senior Program Officer, WI-HER, LLC

Right now, millions of families around the globe are affected by HIV. This means they may be dealing with concurrent struggles related to health, nutrition, and food security, among others. We know that sticking to a healthy diet can strengthen the immune system, improve the effectiveness of ARV drugs, and sustain productivity. Yet many people living with HIV (PLHIV) often face challenges related to food access, availability, and utilization, which can further threaten their health.

Responding to gender issues to improve outcomes in nutrition assessment, counseling, and support services

Nutrition assessment, counseling, and support (NACS) is an approach to integrate evidence-based nutrition interventions into health services, including the prevention, categorization, and treatment of malnutrition and sustained improved...

Strengthening Community Platforms to Address Gender Norms

This AIDSFree technical brief describes the elements of programmatic approaches to strengthen community platforms to address gender equality and harmful gender norms. It draws examples from successful community platforms for addressing GBV...

VIDEO: Six-step approach to help teams integrate gender into improvement activities

The USAID ASSIST Project recognizes that integrating gender into all project activities has the potential to improve outcomes for women and men, boys and girls. ASSIST partner WI-HER, LLC developed an innovative and effective six-step...

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