Gender Integration

Gender Integration refers to strategies applied in program assessment, design, implementation and evaluation to take gender norms into account and to compensate for gender-based inequalities.

Gender integration supports the development and implementation of gender-transformative health programs, policies, and services. Gender transformative approaches seek to change gender norms that restrict women and mens’ access to health services and realization of good health. They question and challenge the unequal distribution of power, lack of resources, limited opportunities and benefits, and restrictions on human rights.

Operationally, gender transformative approaches support changes in socially prescriptive roles for men and women, greater equality in the distribution of goods and services, and sharing power and decision-making at home, in politics, and in economic activities. It also translates into engaging men more actively in women’s and children’s health programs and they translate into giving women a greater say over health care investments.

Gender integration in health is the process of creating the knowledge and awareness of, and responsibility for addressing gender in health systems and programs. Gender integration is now USAID policy and that of most other major donors and governments around the world. Increased gender equality is firmly linked to enhanced productivity, better development outcomes for future generations and improvements in the functioning of institutions (Grépin et al. 2013, World Bank 2011).

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