The IGWG promotes gender equity within global health programs with the goal of improving family planning and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, maternal, child health, and nutrition outcomes, and fostering sustainable development.
The IGWG has generally had 50-60 active members and maintains an active listserv with more than 2,300 subscribers. A major focus of the group has been on gender education, advocacy, and the development of operational tools.
A Technical Advisory Group (TAG) has met periodically over the last 20 years to function as the strategic planning and advisory body of the IGWG. TAG members ensure that the IGWG addresses gender equity issues and needs as they arise in the reproductive health field. Specifically, the group has identified three priority technical areas: gender-based violence, youth and gender, and male involvement.
- Raise awareness and commitment to synergies between gender equity and reproductive health outcomes.
- Collect empirical data and identify best practices on gender issues and the interface with reproductive health.
- Advance best practices and reach the field.
- Develop operational tools for the integration of gender approaches into population, health, nutrition (PHN) programming.
- Provide technical leadership and assistance.
The IGWG promotes critical exploration of gender and its implications on reproductive health 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.