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© 2013 Valerie Caldas, Courtesy of Photoshare

Why is gender important in global health?

Equality for girls and women isn’t only the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing; for no country can get ahead if half its citizens are left behind.

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.

Have a question about gender M&E? Ask the Gender M&E expert.

What is MEASURE Evaluation doing about gender equality in M&E?

Gender Bottom Photo 640
WJEI, known as Sita Kimya in Kenya, men’s awareness and change agent group. Photo by Elly Arnoff.

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

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