Jhpiego's Approach to Gender

Jhpiego recognizes the importance of gender equity as critical to enhancing the health of women, girls, and their families. Gender inequality inhibits women and girls from effectively understanding, accessing, and utilizing sexual, reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH) services. These include the lack of power to decide to use family planning methods to control if, when, and how often to become pregnant; health risks due to gender-based violence (GBV); the lack of mobility, resources or decision-making capacity to deliver safely in a facility or with a skilled birth attendant; and discrimination and abuse in health facilities that are rooted in gender norms.


Gender refers to the economic, social, political, and cultural attributes and opportunities associated with being women and men. The social definitions of what it means to be a woman or a man vary among cultures and change over time. Gender is a sociocultural expression of particular characteristics and roles that are associated with certain groups of people with reference to their sex and sexuality.


Jhpiego Gender Analysis Toolkit for Health Systems

The 2016 Jhpiego Gender Analysis Toolkit is a practical guide for public health professionals seeking to understand how gender can impact health outcomes, both through service delivery and access to information and care. Its primary focus is sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.

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Jhpiego Is Hiring a Gender Intern

Jhpiego is hiring a Gender Intern who will be responsible for supporting activities to integrate gender into Jhpiego programs and the MCSP which seek to strengthen health systems, services and uptake of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH). The position is focused on supporting Jhpiego and MCSP efforts with research, coordination, logistics and capacity building of staff on gender issues related to uptake and utilization of health services, especially, gender differentials in accessing care, respectful care, gender-based violence, male involvement and empowering female health workers.

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Empowering women and girls

When women are empowered to make decisions about their bodies and their families, studies show they are healthier, happier, and more prosperous. Jhpiego works to mitigate the inequalities that act as barriers to optimal health outcomes for women and girls. In Kenya and Tanzania, we are providing young women and girls with life skills and comprehensive sexuality education, including addressing gender norms, to prevent HIV and unwanted pregnancies.

Improving the quality of care by ensuring respectful, gender-sensitive services

Jhpiego works with providers and facilities to ensure equal access to gender-sensitive, respectful, high-quality care for clients of any gender, ensuring accessibility, privacy and confidentiality, and a cordial and non-discriminatory provider-client interaction. Jhpiego is improving gender-sensitive service delivery in facilities in Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda and Mozambique through sensitization, skills-building and mentorship.

Mitigating RMNCAH risks posed by GBV

Studies across multiple global regions have consistently demonstrated that GBV is associated with poor reproductive and maternal and child health outcomes. Violence during pregnancy has been associated with (but not limited to): miscarriage, late entry into prenatal care, stillbirth, hemorrhage, low-birth-weight or small-for-gestational age infants, fetal injury, unsafe abortion, premature labor and birth, STIs including HIV, obstetric complications, depression, substance abuse during pregnancy, suicide and homicide. In Guinea, Haiti, Mozambique, Nepal, Rwanda and Tanzania, we are strengthening gender-based violence services and engaging communities to raise awareness about and increase access to GBV services.

Engaging men in sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health services

Men play a key part in health, yet they are often neglected in outreach and service delivery. In many countries, men make most household decisions about sexual behavior, the use of family planning, family size, whether to give birth in a facility or at home, whether a sick child will be brought to a health facility, the allocation of household assets, and the division of household labor and caregiving. Additionally, men themselves are sexual beings and have their own needs and right to services. In Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Tanzania, we are engaging men not only by encouraging their participation sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health services but also transforming male norms that inhibit their participation in the first place.

Empowering female health workers and increasing women’s agency in decision-making

Jhpiego recognizes that female health workers face greater challenges than their male counterparts, including but not limited to fewer opportunities for hiring, training and promotion; sexual harassment; pressure by families to manage both work and household duties; and unequal pay. In Ethiopia, Liberia and Tanzania, Jhpiego also works to empower female health workers to overcome gender discrimination in the workplace and educational settings to deliver high quality care.

Highlights of Jhpiego's Work in Gender


MCSP Nigeria Gender-Based Violence Rapid Assessment

The USAID Maternal and Child Survival Program in Nigeria, led by Jhpiego, conducted a GBV Service Mapping and Provider Knowledge Assessment in July 2017 to assess the existence of services in Kogi and Ebonyi States, and provider knowledge/attitudes.

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Now I Can Stay Focused on My Dreams: Empowering Female Health Workers in Ethiopia

This case study examines Jhpiego’s efforts under the Strengthening Human Resources for Health Program to empower female health science students. Through financial aid, gender clubs, anti-sexual harassment policies, academic counseling and tutorials, Jhpiego is working to improve school performance and graduation rates. The program aims to build a high-quality cadre of female health professionals to address shortages in Ethiopia’s health system.

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Integrating Gender from Start to Finish, Inside and Outside: Lessons from Afghanistan’s Health Services Support Project

This case study examines Jhpiego’s efforts to improve access to— and quality of— health services for women and families in Afghanistan. By integrating gender into our work, we were able to improve women’s ability to seek health services, make decisions about family planning in partnership with their male partners or mother in law, access care 24 hours a day, and overcome transportation and geographic barriers.

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Recognizing Gender-Based Violence as a Clinical and Multisectoral Issue in Mozambique

This case study details Jhpiego’s work to help Mozambique’s Ministry of Health establish and improve health services for survivors of GBV, to ensure they receive high quality clinical care, counseling, safety planning and referrals. Jhpiego has done this through developing and implementing training materials for health providers, guidelines, job aids, infrastructure improvements in facilities, and quality improvement tools.

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Key Resources


Gender-Based Violence Training and Clinical Protocol- Nepal

Jhpiego, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has worked with the Government of Nepal to develop a comprehensive training curriculum and clinical protocol to provide high quality health services for survivors of gender-based violence. The training covers every step of care from putting in place appropriate infrastructure that ensures the privacy of the survivor, to compassionate counseling techniques, to appropriate collection and storage of forensic evidence.

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Jhpiego Gender Analysis Toolkit for Health Systems

The 2016 Jhpiego Gender Analysis Toolkit is a practical guide for public health professionals seeking to understand how gender can impact health outcomes, both through service delivery and access to information and care. Its primary focus is sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.

Learn More Watch Video

Jhpiego's Gender Team


Myra Betron

Myra Betron

Director, Gender
Jhpiego
Joya Banerjee

Joya Banerjee

Senior Technical Advisor, Gender
Jhpiego

Elizabeth Arlotti-Parish

Elizabeth Arlotti-Parish

Senior Technical Advisor, Gender
Jhpiego
Tracy McClair

Tracy McClair

Technical Specialist, Gender and HIV
Jhpiego