About IGWG

The Interagency Gender Working Group (IGWG), established in 1997, is a network comprising nongovernmental organizations, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), cooperating agencies, and the Bureau for Global Health of USAID.

The IGWG promotes gender equity within population, health, and nutrition programs with the goal of improving reproductive health/HIV/AIDS outcomes and fostering sustainable development.

The IGWG has 60 to 80 active members and maintains a listserv with more than 1,200 subscribers. A major focus of the group has been on gender education, advocacy, and the development of operational tools.

A Technical Advisory Group serves as the strategic planning and advisory body of the IGWG. The Technical Advisory Group members ensure that the IGWG addresses gender equity issues and needs as they arise in the reproductive health field. Specifically, the group has identified four priority technical areas: gender-based violence, youth and gender, gender implications and vulnerabilities of HIV/AIDS, continued focus on male involvement and dual protection.


  • Raise awareness and commitment to synergies between gender equity and RH/HIV outcomes.
  • Collect empirical data and identify best practices on gender issues and the interface with RH/HIV.
  • Advance best practices and reach the field.
  • Develop operational tools for the integration of gender approaches into PHN programming.
  • Provide technical leadership and assistance.

Conceptual Framework

The IGWG promotes critical exploration of gender and its implications on RH at every stage of the program cycle. The IGWG has identified a continuum of strategies, ranging from those that unfortunately exploit gender inequalities in the pursuit of reproductive health (RH) and demographic goals, to those that accommodate gender differences and, finally, to those that seek to transform rigid gender roles, norms, and relations to promote equity. The IGWG/Gender GLP actively discourages interventions that reinforce and exploit existing gender inequalities in pursuit of health outcomes. Rather, we work to promote transformative interventions that encourage critical awareness of gender roles; improving the relative position of women; challenging the imbalance of power, and improving access to resources. It is the IGWG's conviction that focusing on transformative interventions has a positive impact on gender equity and on reproductive health and HIV outcomes.

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Download the continuum graphic in French here. (PDF: 299 KB)

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