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.

Improving reproductive health services by addressing gender issues in Ukraine

Megan Ivankovich

Senior Program Officer, WI-HER, LLC
Gender Training in Poltava, Ukraine

Participants in Poltava present Problem Trees and describe the causes and consequences of relevant public health issues

In October, I had the opportunity to travel to Ukraine to support the USAID ASSIST Project to integrate gender into the work currently underway. ASSIST is working with the Ministry of Health in Ukraine to improve reproductive health services at the primary health care level by working specifically to decrease alcohol and tobacco use by pregnant women, to improve health outcomes for mothers and babies.

Males and females face different levels of susceptibility to health concerns based on their genetic makeup as well as on prevailing gender norms that influence behaviors and quality of health services. For example, 46% of women in Ukraine reported alcohol use in the most recent months of pregnancy, yet counseling on the reduction of alcohol use during pregnancy is insufficient since health providers often don’t consider women at risk because these behaviors have been historically associated with men and boys. In addition, exposure to environmental pollutants such as second-hand smoke can negatively impact the health of pregnant women and their babies.

Measure Evaluation M&E of Gender and Health Programs Training Module

The M&E of Gender and Health Programs module was designed by Measure Evaluation and is intended to be used as a 3 hour training session as part of a larger M&E workshop on population, health and nutrition topics, including HIV. It...

An Improvement Approach to Respond to Gender-Based Violence

Gender-based violence (GBV) is violence directed at a woman, man, girl or boy based on that person’s sex, gender identity, or how that person meets or does not meet cultural norms of femininity or masculinity. Sexual, physical and...

HIV and key populations: providing care where it is most needed

Anisa Ismail

Improvement Specialist, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

As a virus, HIV does not discriminate. But when combined with social and economic factors affecting health such as gender, sexual orientation, and poverty, HIV becomes a virus that manifests much more strongly in some groups over others. In public health language, these are our key populations- the groups of people who experience a heightened risk of being infected with HIV due to one of more of those factors.

Key populations include sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PWID), and transgender persons.

USAID ASSIST Project Annual Performance Monitoring Report FY14

This annual report for the USAID ASSIST Project summarizes the project's accomplishments and results in FY14 supporting the application of modern improvement methods by host country providers and managers in USAID-assisted countries...

Gender knowledge cafes: A technique to improve gender integration practices

Elizabeth Romanoff Silva

USAID ASSIST Project/WI-HER
Gender knowledge cafe hosted at Creative Associates on November 6, 2014

Through the USAID ASSIST Project, we utilize knowledge cafes as a technique for stimulating the synthesis of knowledge among our improvement teams. I recently had the pleasure of applying the knowledge café model we use through the USAID ASSIST Project to gender integration by facilitating a Gender Knowledge Café at an event hosted by Creative Associates in collaboration with the Washington DC Gender and Development Networking Group. The event brought together DC's most experienced gender and development professionals, together with those just entering a career in gender, to discuss their career paths and exciting developments in the field.

Pathways to a Career in Gender and Development Event

Creative Associates International, 5301 Wisconsin Ave NW, B1 Conference Center, Washington, DC 20015
Pathways to a Career in Gender and Development Event

On November 6th, Creative Associates and the Washington DC Gender and Development Networking Group hosted an event titled "Pathways to a Career in Gender and Development," which brought together DC's most experienced gender and development professionals to shared information about their career paths and exciting developments in the field. The event included a panel discussion followed by an interactive knowledge café. Nine table hosts facilitated small group conversations and more than 90 people attended the event.  USAID ASSIST Improvement Specialist Elizabeth Romanoff Silva facilitated a Gender Knowledge Cafe during the second part of the event, and USAID ASSIST Senior Gender Technical Advisor Dr. Taroub Harb Faramand served as a knowledge café table host, and USAID ASSIST Improvement Specialist Elizabeth Silva will co-host the knowledge café exercise.

International Day of the Girl Child: Addressing challenges limiting girls' access to education in Bagamoyo District, Tanzania

Delphina Ntangeki

Improvement Advisor, KM and Communications, Tanzania, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

As a girl, Mariam [not her real name] believed that education was her only hope if she wanted to live a better life. The fact that her father abandoned her and her mother added to her resolve to study hard. She put more efforts into her studies and made sure she was always among the best four students in her class. Unfortunately, her plans did not come out the way she expected. Mariam did not pass her final secondary school exams in 2012; all the effort she put into her studies ended with the exam results.

Hidden in Plain Sight: A statistical analysis of violence against children

This new report from UNICEF shines light on the prevalence of different forms of violence against children, with global figures and data from 190 countries. Where relevant, data are disaggregated by age and sex, to provide insights into...

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