Why is gender important in global health?
Ambassador-at-Large Melanne Verveer, Global Women's Issues, U.S. Department of State
During the 2010 U.N. Summit on the Millennium Development Goals, 191 countries including the U.S. adopted the resolution to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women as effective ways to combat poverty, hunger and disease and to stimulate development that is truly sustainable.
Gender is a priority for organizations worldwide and is being integrated into program planning, data collection, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), and program implementation.
The first principle of the U.S. Global Health Initiative (GHI) is a focus on women, girls and gender equality. The GHI includes women in all levels of health programming, which will improve the health of children, families, and communities worldwide.
Focusing on gender in the M&E of health programs ensures that gender will be addressed and measured as a component of program inputs, outputs and outcomes. Gender-related information provides evidence to raise awareness of gender inequities, advocate for change, and demonstrate program progress and impact.
What is MEASURE Evaluation doing about gender equality in M&E?
MEASURE Evaluation’s mission is to provide technical leadership through collaboration at local, national, and global levels to build the sustainable capacity of individuals and organizations to identify data needs, collect and analyze technically sound data, and use that data for health decision-making.
In gender M&E, MEASURE Evaluation is working to increase the use of and demand for gender-related information for program and policy decision making on local and global levels.
We use four strategic approaches to achieve this goal:
- Integration of gender into MEASURE Evaluation activities
- Implementation of innovative gender focus activities that illuminate the effects of gender on health risks, access to and use of health services
- Collaboration in global networks and initiatives related to gender M&E
- Capacity building and training in gender M&E
- Gender and Health Data and Statistics: An Annotated Resource Guide
- Influence of Gender Measures on Maternal and Child Health in Africa
- Early Marriage Evaluation Study in Ethiopia
- The Women’s Justice and Empowerment Initiative: Lessons Learned and Implications for Gender-Based Violence Programming in Sub-Sahara Africa