|Health Experts Seek Ways to Map Progress on Gender Equality|
Experts on gender and health met at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Washington, D.C., to discuss ways of monitoring progress toward greater gender equality in health plans and programs in PAHO member countries and through the Organization. "The Plan of Action 2009-2014 for implementing the Gender Equality Policy has been a milestone in PAHO’s work. Though we have made good progress, we also recognize the challenges in the process of gender mainstreaming" - PAHO Director at the opening session.
Technical Advisory Group on Gender Equality and Health (TAG/GEH)
Dr. Mirta Roses Periago
Speech at the opening ceremony
Welcome to the TAG members, special guests, and colleagues.
The Plan of Action 2009-2014 for implementing the Gender Equality Policy has been a milestone in PAHO’s work. Though we have made good progress, we also recognize the challenges in the process of gender mainstreaming;
Gender equality -as well as ethnicity and human rights- has been established as a cross-cutting priority at PAHO planning and implementation of programs and projects;
PAHO recognizes that mainstreaming a gender equality perspective into our work will contribute to increasing effectiveness and efficiency for the best results of programs’ and projects’ implementation. Understanding the different needs and conditions of life and work of women and men in various racial/ethnic groups, age groups, areas of residence, and socioeconomic levels, health systems will be able to respond health needs and provide services in an effective and efficient way;
Furthermore, recognizing existing barriers as well as facilitating factors in the process of gender mainstreaming, will accelerate the implementation process. This will take advantage of already learned lessons, and past experiences and as a result, allow the creation of innovative and improved strategies;
PAHO has given high priority to the evaluation of programs and projects in order to ensure that the principles of equity -including gender equity-, are put into practice;
Regarding the particular topic of the Plan of Action for Implementing the PAHO Gender Equality Policy, the monitoring process will provide us information to identify good practices and develop or adjust the strategies for furthering gender mainstreaming;
The main topic of this meeting is to discuss the process and instruments for monitoring the plan of action and implementing the gender equality policy;
The results from this monitoring process, which will be carried out in 2011, will be presented to the governing bodies in 2012;
The Office of Gender, Diversity, and Human Rights, as it is established in the Gender Equality Policy and its plan of action, will coordinate an effective monitoring and evaluation mechanism to track whether gender is, in fact, being mainstreamed into PAHO’s programs and projects;
Thank you all for your commitment and contributions and please accept my best wishes for a successful event. I look forward to receiving the recommendations from the meeting.
Members of a special technical advisory group (TAG) on gender equality and health discuss past experiences in monitoring gender equality and develop a conceptual framework and process for monitoring the Regional Plan of Action for Implementing the Gender Equality Policy approved by PAHO's Directing Council in October 2010.
That plan of action recognizes that inequalities between women and men and girls and boys contribute to inequitable health profiles and health risks.
For example, women are at greater risk of being victims of violence at the hands of a domestic partner, while men face greater risks from injuries and death related to traffic accidents, homicide, suicide and substance abuse. Such differences need to be taken into account by health policies and interventions if they are to be effective.
The PAHO Plan of Action includes measures such as training on how to integrate a gender equality perspective into health policies and programs, increased participation of civil society (especially women's groups and other advocates) in policymaking and priority-setting, improved evidence for policy through disaggregation-by-sex in data collection and analysis, and the institutionalization of gender-responsive policies as well as mechanisms for monitoring progress and evaluating the effectiveness of gender interventions.
(TAG/GEH) concluded by issuing preliminary recommendations on how to encourage progress toward greater gender sensitivity.
For more information, contact Office of the Director, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO)
Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization