Gender

  • Women and girls: Beyond 2015

    We know what we can achieve.

    And we know what needs to be done.

    We know that improving access to family planning can reduce maternal and child mortality. Moreover, as long as women are unable to negotiate the number and spacing of their children, gains will be limited. We know that exclusive breastfeeding provides an infant the best start in life. Yet, evidence shows that a child born to a mother who has had access to quality education, especially secondary education, has a greater chance of surviving to see her fifth birthday than a child whose mother has no education. In countries around the world, we have reduced dramatically the incidence of HIV. Yet, gender violence and sexual exploitation will need to be addressed as part of the solution if we are to halt the spread of the disease.

    Last week, the United Nations General Assembly debated the post-2015 agenda, and it has never been more clear that women and girls must be top of mind in the global development discussion. Only when we transform unequal gender norms will we be able to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges. This means taking a broader approach than what we have done in the past by integrating gender concerns and putting women and girls front and center in every post-2015 priority.

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  • Efforts to prevent HIV must focus on gender equity

    The latest figures on HIV infections, as reported this week by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), revealed an impressive 33 percent reduction in new infections among adults and children since 2001. To continue down the road to success, future efforts must address the gender inequities that contribute to the disproportionate impact of HIV and AIDS on women and girls.

    More than half of the 35 million people living with HIV are women. In sub-Saharan Africa, almost 60 percent of people living with HIV are women. Young women between ages 15 to 24 are at highest risk of and most vulnerable to HIV infection. Closer to home, black women in the United States remain at high risk for HIV infection, and HIV-related illness is now one of the leading causes of death among black women between ages 25 to 34.

    Gender inequity is a key driver of the epidemic, making women more vulnerable to HIV in many ways.

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  • Gender integration: Making it a reality

    Why has there been so much emphasis on gender integration? What does gender integration really mean, and how is it done?

    Equal gender norms, roles and relations are key determinants of well-being across every aspect of human development. Gender inequality limits access to information, education, decision-making power, economic assets and health care. Women and girls are put at a great disadvantage because of unequal gender norms.

    Research, especially in the health and education fields, shows that when efforts are made to address gender inequalities, individuals, communities and societies benefit.

    At FHI 360, we use a Gender Integration Framework to provide practical guidance on how to analyze issues from a gender perspective and devise research and programs that identify and challenge gender-based inequalities that pose barriers to development.

    FHI 360 conducts trainings at our U.S., regional and country offices to give our staff and leadership the capacity to put the framework into practice. Gender specialists throughout the organization help ensure that our research or programs integrate gender considerations at all stages of the project cycle — from planning and design to implementation and measurement.

    This week in Tanzania, 28 technical staff from 17 FHI 360 country offices in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East will participate in our three-day gender integration workshop. The workshop will train these technical experts on how to use the framework and other tools and approaches in their day-to-day work. Participants will become Gender Focal Points, ensuring that gender remains front and center in our country and project offices.

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  • ROADS II: Transforming corridors of risk into pathways of prevention and hope

  • The theme of International Women’s Day 2013 is The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum. How have we made progress on gender equality?

    We have made a lot of progress since Hillary Clinton has been in the leadership position of Secretary of State. Clinton pushed to have the development, diplomatic and even the defense communities pay attention to gender in the U.S. foreign policy arena. In addition, last year the U.S. gender policy was updated for the first time in thirty years. That was a big step forward. Gender is not only about women and girls. Gender is about the relationships between men and women, as well as the social dynamics and the norms that frequently lead to women and girls being at a disadvantage in many societies.

    How does FHI 360 integrate a gender perspective into its work?

    We developed a Gender Integration Framework, which is a set of guidelines that encourages FHI 360 staff working on programs and research to take gender issues into consideration from the start of a project through implementation. We formed a gender advisory council, which includes representatives from all of our major business units. We are also looking strategically at how we can include gender issues in proposals, provide technical assistance to our projects and more effectively talk about gender to our external audiences. I would say there is a lot of momentum and commitment to implementing our Gender Integration Framework.

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  • Integrating gender into health projects – New collection of tools available

    Are you a gender focal person in your organization looking to access programmatic evidence, tools for gender and health advocacy? Perhaps you are a program manager seeking to view guidance on integrating gender in HIV/AIDS, family planning, maternal health and youth programs or access gender training curricula and materials. Maybe you are a donor who wants to learn about key issues in gender mainstreaming and gender integration. Well, there is a new one-stop shop for you! The newly revised Interagency Gender Working Group (IGWG) Gender and Health Toolkit is now available.

    The Knowledge for Health (K4Health) project recently updated this electronic toolkit with input from leading gender experts. The result is a collection of carefully selected practical tools and instruments to help make programs and health systems more equitable and effective. Designed to move health practitioners, program mangers and policy makers from awareness and commitment to direct application and practice, the toolkit is a treasure trove of applied resources. This new IGWG Gender and Health Toolkit is a companion to the IGWG website and has the same goal: improvement of reproductive health/HIV/AIDS outcomes and sustainable development through the promotion of gender equity within population, health, and nutrition programs.

  • International Day of the Girl

    Today, October 11, 2012, marks the first UN International Day of the Girl.  This day has been set aside to recognize girls’ rights and the challenges they face. The theme for this year is ending child marriage.  On the UN International Day of the Girl, we are launching a series highlighting our work with girls around the world.  We invite you to participate in the conversation on twitter with #IDG and #DayoftheGirl.


  • Follow-up to the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning

    On Monday, September 17, the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC, hosted “Maintaining the Momentum: Highlights from the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning (FP).” This panel discussion was a virtual who’s who in family planning – with the main room full as well as two additional rooms literally overflowing – as folks gathered to hear current luminaries talk about highlights and next steps to the 2012 London FP Summit, what is now called FP2020. Panel moderator Karen Hardee, of the Futures Group, reminded us that the Summit confirmed family planning as a critical and global issue and that it set impressive goals and raised $2.6 billion dollars in pledged funding over the next eight years with the goal of expanding access to voluntary rights-based family planning for 120 million new users in poorer countries. The gathering represented a melting pot of perspectives with a mix of representation from government, civil society, and the private sector. There were lots of champagne toasts, speeches, and celebration in London, like at any wedding. Now, two months into the marriage, the hard work begins: how do we implement the summit’s lofty goals?

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  • During the month of July 2012, two landmark gatherings advanced global progress in sexual and reproductive health. The Family Planning Summit was held in London on July 11. Co-hosted by the UK Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Summit’s goal was to offer millions of vulnerable women around the world renewed hope that they will soon have the means to determine the timing and spacing of their pregnancies through access to modern family planning methods. Less than two weeks later, the AIDS 2012 Conference was held in Washington, D.C. Organized by the International AIDS Society, AIDS 2012 was a multitrack, week-long convention of 24,000 attendees, including heads of state, celebrities, philanthropists, researchers, activists and people living with HIV. Their optimistic vision is to attain an AIDS-free generation.

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