Articles

IGWG Update on Gender Synchronized Programs
In 2010, USAID funded the writing and publication of "Synchronizing Gender Strategies: A Cooperative Approach," which focused on the basic idea of is that it is often necessary to address gender inequalities by working with more than one population or dimension of gender, e.g., efforts to empower women may be reinforced by sensitizing men, addressing homophobia, building solidarity among adolescents, and so on.

Guide for Managing and Conducting Gender Assessments
The United States government has strengthened requirements to conduct gender assessments to inform and shape invest-ments in international development. But what does it mean to conduct a gender assessment? How do you get started? This practical guide will help.

What Is Gender? And Why Is It Important?
What exactly do gender and gender equality mean, and how can a gender-based perspective help achieve health and development goals?

Gender-Based Violence Against the Transgender Community Is Underreported
The Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20, 2011, and the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10, 2011,are important opportunities to address the serious but often-ignored issue of gender-based violence (GBV) against transgender persons. The status of the transgender population has important implications for the progress toward gender equality and other human rights.

Data on Gender-Based Violence: What's New and What's Not
To commemorate the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, the Interagency Gender Working Group (IGWG), PAHO, and USAID held an event entitled "Data on Gender-Based Violence: What's New and What's Not" on December 6, 2011. The event featured four presentations from leading voices in the field of combating gender-based violence focusing on the importance of ethical, comprehensive, and accurate data.

Global Health Initiative Supplemental Guidance on Women, Girls, and Gender Equality Principle
The Global Health Initiative has issued new guidance on the women, girls, and gender equality principle to address the gender-related inequalities and disparities.

Gender Synchronization: A New Approach
The new “gender synchronization” strategy takes gender programming to the next level. It makes the case for working with men and women, boys and girls, together in an intentional and mutually reinforcing way that challenges gender norms in the pursuit of improved health and gender equality.

Gender-Based Violence: Impediment to Health
Gender-based violence is violence involving men and women, in which the female is usually the victim. Often viewed as a protection or legal rights issue, it is equally important that it be recognized as a public health concern. Two policy briefs outline clearly and succinctly how gender-based violence impacts many reproductive health outcomes—unintended pregnancy, maternal and child health, and STIs/HIV—and make the case that health services have a crucial role to play in responding to GBV.

Mama Muliri Speaks About Healing in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Since 2003 the program Heal My People has worked with over 30,000 women, providing free health and psychosocial services to survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Recently, Jeanne Muliri Kabekatyo (“Mama Muliri”), pioneer and leader of HEAL Africa’s GBV program, spoke at a Brown Bag organized by the Gender-Based Violence Task Force of the IGWG about the status of survivors of violence in her country, and the importance of holistic community involvement and the economic empowerment of women.

Gender Perspectives Improve Reproductive Health Outcomes: New Evidence
This long-awaited update to the 2004 “So What?” Report assembles the latest data and presents the evidence as to the impact of incorporating a gender perspective into reproductive health programs. The 40 programs examined include evaluated interventions that impact unintended pregnancy, maternal health, HIV/AIDS and other STIs, harmful practices, and youth.

Grandmother Project: A New Approach to Ending Harmful Traditional Practices
Older women and grandmothers play a very important role in many traditional communities; they are often consulted on family affairs and conflict resolution and just as often pointed to as the negative drivers behind harmful traditional practices. The Grandmother Project in Senegal has identified grandmothers as vital and viable agents of positive change. The organization works with them as active community assets to promote maternal and child nutrition, early childhood development, and education, and, most recently, to eradicate female genital mutilation and HIV/AIDS.

'Mission Possible' in Mali Thanks to Partnership Initiative
The Mali Mission and its local partners faced a discouraging reality six years ago: women were having too many children and too many mothers were dying. Now, thanks to a partnership undertaken by the Mission and IGWG, some important changes have taken place on the ground.

Transforming Male Gender Roles to Combat Cross-Generational Sex
Cross-generational sex—often known as Sugar Daddy syndrome—is a pattern of sexual behavior between young women and much older men that brings increased health risks and consequences for the young women. While few large-scale interventions have been undertaken to combat this risky behavior, and even fewer have been evaluated, an important collaboration in Uganda between the government, local organizations, and USAID may be leading the way.

Film Raises Awareness of the Link Between Violence Against Women and AIDS
Mama Joyce and Josephine are unlikely heroines. Both women were brought low by abusive husbands who beat them, took away their dignity and choices, and left them with AIDS. Yet both women emerged as heroines in "SASA! A Film About Women, Violence and HIV/AIDS." This film tells the story of how these courageous women triumphed over gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS and gained power that helped them organize, become activists in their communities, and build meaningful and rewarding lives.

Addressing the Physical and Mental Health of Women and Adolescents Trafficked in Europe
Women who have been trafficked often suffer from multiple physical and mental health problems, but research shows that with one month of professional care after they have been freed, these same women demonstrate vast improvement. Charlotte Watts, co‑author of 'Stolen Smiles,' talks to the IGWG's Gender‑Based Violence Task Force.

Using Community Theater and Peer Education to Discuss HIV Risk Behaviors and Gender-Based Violence in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
The Tuelimishane HIV and Violence Prevention project uses community-based theater as a medium for peer education related to HIV and gender-based violence. The Tanzanian project, which was partially funded by an IGWG small grant, found a "clear association between men’s HIV risk behaviors and their reported use of violence."

Long-Held Assumptions Pose Obstacles in the Fight Against Domestic Violence
According to a World Health Organization study that assessed the impact of a community-based intervention designed to reduce domestic violence in Rakai, deeply embedded attitudes may pose formidable obstacles to change. (June 2007)

Implications for HIV/AIDS, Conflict, and Violence
The language used to refer to young men in the African context is often pejorative. But Gary Barker and Christine Ricardo of Instituto Promundo argue in a report for the World Bank that these depictions fail to take into account the plurality of young men and realities in the region. If programs are going to be effective in addressing conflict, violence, and HIV/AIDS in the region, they contend, more sophisticated gender analyses are needed that also include men and boys. (May 2006)

An Education in Making Schools Safe in Africa
It is widely accepted that, in order to promote gender equality and empower women, girls must stay in school. But what if it isn't that simple, what if by sending girls into schools you are actually exposing them to violence and victimization, to bullying, rape, and molestation by classmates and even by teachers? That is the conundrum faced by the Safe Schools Program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Office of Women in Development. "How do we make the classroom an environment with healthy interactions among students, among teachers, and between teachers and students?" asks the director of the program. It is a question that drives the pilot program examining gender-based violence in schools in Malawi and Ghana. (January 2006)

After the Tsunami, a Drive to Reverse Tubal Ligations in Tamil Nadu
Last December's Indian Ocean tsunami killed more than 100,000 children—from East Africa to Southeast Asia. Now, one state government in India is offering free reversals of tubal ligations to women there who lost children in the disaster and wish to conceive again, reports a new article from the Population Reference Bureau (PRB). But for some family planning experts in India, the new program is a stark reminder that India's health bureaucracy fails to devote sufficient counseling and other resources to promote easily reversible contraceptive methods. (July 2005)

Reproductive Health Programs Need to Involve Men
Conflicting interests and inequities between men and women pose serious obstacles to good health. Recently, however, there has been increased awareness of the need to actively involve men in reproductive health programs. (November 2003)

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