The workshops and consultation were conducted concurrently during the period 23 – 31 October 2012 at the Ocean View Hotel.
The objectives of the workshops and consultation were:
• To raise awareness on gender, gender-based violence and cultural diversity in health.
• To build skills in, and practice using, gender and health tools within the context of the draft National Health Sector Strategy 2013-2020.
• To strengthen national capacity to analyse health statistics, applying principles of gender equality and cultural diversity to promote evidence-based decision-making and monitoring towards health equity.
• To consult a broad range of stakeholders on elements to include in national health strategies and/or plans regarding gender, gender-based violence and cultural diversity.
Ms. Shelly Abdool, Regional Advisor on Gender, PAHO/WHO, Panama, Dr, Florence Levy, Regional Advisor on Cultural Diversity, PAHO/WHO, Panama and Professor Monica Swahn, Emory University/Georgia State University, facilitated the workshops and consultation. The total number of participants from UN agencies, government agencies and civil society were one hundred and thirty-one.
Dr. Barnett, PAHO/WHO Representative, in one of her opening remarks mentioned that gender matters in health – gender equality is a critical health and development goal. It is Millennium Development Goal 3, and it is prominent in current discussions on the post-2015 global development agenda. Achieving greater equality between women and men will require changes at many levels, including changes in attitudes and relationships, changes in institutions and legal frameworks, changes in attitudes in economic institutions and changes in political decision-making structures.
The Minister of Health who was present at the one-day consultation mentioned that there needs to be a “watchdog” mechanism to ensure that the tools on gender and health be implemented. Also, there needs to be equitable access to health services for everyone including teenage girls.
Also present at the consultation was Mr. Patrick Findlay, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Human Service and Social Security who in his remarks pledged the support of his Ministry to collaborate with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to address gender issues in Guyana, since, according to him, “gender relates to everything we do.”
Dr. Shamdeo Persaud, the Chief Medical Officer mentioned that the purpose of the Health Sector Strategy -‘Health Vision 2020’ is to ensure that “we have high quality of service that is provided to all Guyanese without fair or favour regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religious or cultural beliefs or political affiliations.”
The main outputs of the workshops were:
• Recommendations for elements to include a national response on gender-based health inequities (that include gender- based violence and cultural diversity) that will be synthesized for consideration in the development of the Health Vision 2020, Strategy on NCD and conversations on GBV (led by MHSS).
• Recommendations for strengthening data within the Health Vision 2020.
See links below for further information published in the media:
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