Gender-integrated healthcare interventions can improve health outcomes and the quality of care received by end-users. As gender norms, relations and roles are key determinants of healthcare access and provision, bridging gender inequalities is a pre-requisite to achieving universal health coverage. Gender-integrated interventions challenge gender norms and unequal power relations, enabling programs to implement strategies that empower end-users to make informed decisions about their health and body.

The Gender Integration Pathway, developed by UoM and IHAT, provides a systemic approach for healthcare interventions to become more gender-responsive. This pathway lays out a set of sequential processes that help to analyse interventions, identify existing gender barriers intersecting with power and other inequalities, and develop solutions that promote gender equity.

The pathway begins by examining the program intervention’s target gap. It then assesses if gender plays a role in achieving the desired outcome, considering how barriers might affect men, women, boys, and girls differently. Subsequently, the UoM-IHAT Gender Analysis Framework is used to analyse these gender barriers, identifying the domain (attitudes, beliefs, and norms; roles and responsibilities; participation and decision-making; access to and control over resources) and ecological level (Individual, Interpersonal, Community, Facility, Systems) the barriers fall under. The gender analysis of the barriers informs the development of solutions and addresses them through the involvement of relevant stakeholders. This leads to solutions that are gender-responsive, people-centred, and rights-based. Such strategies challenge harmful norms, behaviours and imbalanced power structures. The incorporation of M & E indicators that routinely monitor the impact of using a gender-responsive approach further allows the measurement of changes in gender norms/relations, access to services, and status of women and girls, among others.

The gender integration pathway supports the program science approach. It can be utilised by new and existing interventions to incorporate gender considerations across their program implementation and monitoring cycles. With gender analysis at the foundation, these interventions will promote end-users’ agency and voice while working to transform unequal power relations.


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