Case Study
29 Aug 2022
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What Works in Gender and Health in the United Nations: 14 Case Study Briefs

What You'll Learn
  • Leaders can catalyse, accelerate and sustain success, by investing in gender architecture across the organisation with dedicated core funds
  • Organisational strategies that include gender equality with measurable outcome and output indicators, links between gender teams and budget planning teams, and strong  performance and financial accountability mechanisms were gamechangers
  • Feminist civil society expertise and pressure can ensure alignment with local priorities, grounding in ethical frameworks, external accountability and sustainability
  • Joint interagency collaboration can have real impacts on the ground when comparative advantages of the agencies involved are leveraged
  • Evidence, data and programmatic learning that shows what works (and what the problem is) can drive action and change.
Download the consolidated report
Project summary

The United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) co-produced a practice-based study with five UN agencies working in global health (UNAIDS,
UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO). The project focused on analysing and understanding what worked, where, for whom, why and how, institutionally and programmatically, to
successfully mainstream gender.

Broadly, the case studies are categorised into three groups based on the types of successful outcomes achieved namely those that:

  1. empowered women and girls to resist harmful gender norms and practices and advocate for their own health needs;
  2. put gender and health issues on the global agenda; or
  3. embedded gender equality issues in institutional processes and structures that supported gender equality in health programming.

Click here for the consolidated project report.

The 14 individual case studies are presented below.

Empowered women and girls

The below case studies are categorised into the group ’empowered women and girls to resist harmful gender norms and practices and advocate for their own health needs’.

  • Case study 1: Empowering girls and women to challenge harmful gender norms to improve menstrual health and hygiene, implemented as part of a WASH programme (UNICEF)
  • Case study 2: Empowering women and girls to resist gender and social norms that encourage female genital mutilation, promote positive masculinities, and strive for more equal gender power relations (Phase 3 of UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on the Abandonment of FGM)
  • Case study 3: Empowering women and marginalised groups living with HIV in MENA (UNAIDS Secretariat, regional team).
Gender and Health on the Global Agenda

The below case studies are categorised into the group ‘put gender and health issues on the global agenda.’

  • Case study 4: HIV reduction and the empowerment of adolescent girls and young women in decision-making through the adoption and implementation of comprehensive HIV programmes in South Africa (UNAIDS Secretariat country office)
  • Case study 5: Violence against women acknowledged as a global public health priority through sustained strategic leveraging of opportunities by WHO gender experts
  • Case study 6: GBV in humanitarian settings prioritised in the global agenda through UNFPA’s leadership and advocacy.
Embedded gender equality issues in institutional processes

The below case studies are categorised into the group ’embedded gender equality issues in institutional processes and structures that supported gender equality in health programming’.

  • Case study 7: Enabling the rights of women and girls through enhanced legal, policy and regulatory environments in the context of HIV (supported by the UNDP HIV, Health
    and Development group)
  • Case study 8: Institutional integration of gender across all technical programmes, Member State health programmes, and the Pan American Health Organization
  • Case study 9: Institutional integration of gender at global, regional and country levels, including in health (UNICEF)
  • Case study 10: Member State implementation of genderresponsive programmes, including in the health sector, through the strategic use of Gender Programmatic ReviewsCentral (UNICEF regional and country offices, Europe and Central Asia)
  • Case study 11: Changes in institutional culture within UNAIDS Secretariat to support gender equality brought about by the Independent Expert Panel
  • Case study 12: Adequate financial allocations for programmes advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment through effective use of the Gender Equality Marker (UNFPA)
  • Case study 13: Integration of gender into the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (WHO)
  • Case study 14: Improved institutional and programmatic gender mainstreaming through increased participation in the Gender Equality Seal (UNDP)
Take Action
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