San Salvador, March 30, 2012. With technical assistance from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the first workshop was held on the theoretical underpinnings for the development of gender and health indicators for the analysis of the situation of women and men throughout the lifecourse, and how to approach health issues differentially.
PAHO’s fifth annual report Gender, Health, and Development in the Americas: Basic Indicators 2011 points out differences in health outcomes: women are far from being able to meet their reproductive health needs; women have higher obesity rates than men; women engage in less physical activity than men; mortality from external causes, specifically accidents and homicide, is a phenomenon seen primarily in men. This is why it is important to have a monitoring subsystem with a gender approach.
During the workshop, gender theory was reviewed, parameters were set for gender analysis in health, and exercises using the traditional health indicators were performed and some of them were prioritized; facilitating progress toward gender equity.
The Ministry of Health (MINSAL) is likewise giving priority to the achievement of gender equality, setting up the infrastructure to monitor progress in gender equity nationwide. With PAHO support, it has also developed a work plan for 2012-2013 whose activities include the measurement of indicators for progress made in the gender approach and the fulfillment of international commitments.
The workshop was attended by representatives of the Salvadorian Institute for Women’s Development (ISDEMU) and the Ministry of Health (MINSAL), working in the areas of health statistics, the right to health, sexual and reproductive health, dentistry, violence, and management of support for health administration and programming.
As the final product of the workshop, the participants prepared a proposal for indicators that measure progress toward gender equality in health.