Over the last 25 years, there have been bold commitments towards tackling gender inequalities in global health, but these commitments have not been met by commensurate shifts in the underlying structural or systemic drivers of these inequalities.
Despite decades of commitments, talk remains the substitute for action in tackling gender inequalities in global health. For example, the development of treatments, vaccines, diagnostics, and other forms of medical innovation to this very day continue to neglect the health of women and girls. In this episode, we explore the misappropriation and misuse of gender-transformative language and the negative impact this has had on addressing gender inequalities in global health. We are joined by our host, Johanna Riha, and guest speaker Anju Malhotra, who talks to us about a provocative think piece she recently wrote on the topic. We also hear reactions to Anju’s think piece from Jennifer McCleary-Sills and Geeta Rao Gupta.
About our guest speakers:
- Johanna Riha, Research Fellow at UNU-IIGH and host of this podcast episode
- Anju Malhotra, Principal Visiting Fellow at UNU-IIGH
- Jennifer McCleary-Sills, Senior Program Officer, Gender Equality at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- Geeta Rao Gupta, Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation
- Heather Doyle, “Gender Equality: Do what we say, not what we do,” The Graduate Institute of Geneva, 21 May 2021
- Geeta Rao Gupta’s speech from at the 13th International AIDS conference in Durban in 2000: Gupta, G. R. (2000). Gender, sexuality, and HIV/AIDS: the what, the why, and the how. Canadian HIV/AIDS Policy & Law Review, 5(4), 86–93.
In this episode’s conversation, we explore the misappropriation and misuse of gender-transformative language and the negative impact this has had on addressing gender inequalities in global health.
While women represent 70% of the global healthcare workforce, only 25% of them hold senior roles. One result of this bias is that health systems are not designed to address the needs of women and girls, and often reinforce gender inequalities. In this episode, host Johanna converses with three health system experts on what health system transformation for gender equality looks like. They also discuss how gender power inequalities manifest in health systems and how to better build bridges across movements working towards equality without side-lining any one agenda for maximising effectiveness.
About our guest speakers:
- Jean-Paul Dossou, Centre de Recherche en Reproduction Humaine et en Démographie, Bénin
- Lucy Gilson, University of Cape Town, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, South Africa
- Sreytouch Vong, Policy Manager, Enhancing Quality of Healthcare Activity, Cambodia
- “Jean-Paul Dossou : Payer avant d’accoucher est la première violence faite aux femmes”, Le Monde Afrique, 22 October 2019.
- Gautier et al, “Rethinking development interventions through the lens of decoloniality in sub-Saharan Africa: the case of global health”. Global Public Health (2020)https://doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2020.1858134
- Le Centre de Recherche en Reproduction Humaine et en Démographie (CERRHUD)
- Shung-King et al. “Leadership experiences and practices of South African health managers: what is the influence of gender? -a qualitative, exploratory study”. International Journal for Equity in Health (2018) 17:148. DOI https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-018-0859-0