Essential gender issues in relation to health systems

In a group interview Sarah Ssali (Makerere University), Sally Theobald (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine), Rosemary Morgan (John Hopkins University) and Asha George (John Hopkins University) talk about essential gender issues in relation to health systems. They also promote the RinGs Initiative (Research in Gender and Ethics) and talk about how people can get involved.


Big issues in health systems and gender discussed are:

  • Post-conflict reconstruction given the gendered impacts of war.
  • Engaging with close-to-community providers, important for universal health coverage, who have insights into gender roles and relations.
  • Community health workers and the gender differences which are often present between lower- and higher-tier health workers. Women need policies in place to support them with childcare needs.
  • Gender needs to be seen in conjunction with other vulnerabilities and approaches need to be tailored to each context.

The perspective on gender and health issues needs to look beyond child-bearing and look at other gendered needs.

The RinGS platform has an active social media platform with a website and twitter account. The website contains many useful and relevant resources. RinGS respond to current events. They are keen for people to get in touch with them to engage in current issues: twitter @RinGsRPC or email RinGs.RPC@gmail.com.

For more on gender and post-conflict health systems see other HEART talks in this series:

  • Sarah Ssali on understanding gender issues in health systems strengthening in post-conflict Uganda
  • Valerie Percival on the importance of understanding gender equity in humanitarian responses to health issues
  • Haja Wurie on incorporating gender into health systems reconstruction in post-Ebola Sierra Leone
  • Rosemary Morgan on gender in health systems research

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