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Buy-In, Incentives are Key to Ensuring a Gender Perspective in Health Plans and Policies

Washington, D.C., 24 February 2011 — Members of a technical advisory group on gender equality and health (TAG/GEH) concluded a meeting this week by issuing preliminary recommendations on how to encourage progress toward greater gender sensitivity in the health plans and programs of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The advisory group met Tuesday and Wednesday at PAHO headquarters in Washington, D.C., to refine a framework for monitoring the regional Plan of Action for Implementing the Gender Equality Policy, which was approved by PAHO's Directing Council in 2009. The plan recognizes that women and men have different health profiles and face different health risks that must be taken into account in order for health policies and programs to be fully effective. The plan calls for mainstreaming this gender perspective into planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of health policies, programs, projects and research in PAHO and its member countries.  

In their preliminary recommendations on monitoring and evaluation of the regional action plan, the advisory group called for:

  • Ensuring high-level support for PAHO involvement in monitoring and assessing progress in implementing the regional action plan
  • The active involvement of ministry of health officials, academic institutions, PAHO country representatives, and other stakeholders at the country level 
  • The use of incentives to improve data collection and analysis on gender and health, including rewards for teams or agencies that demonstrate best results in this area.
  • Conducting the assessment process in two phases, with a first progress report issued in 2012 and a second one in 2014. 
The group also recommended that these progress reports be widely disseminated and that their findings be used for further improvement of the regional action plan. 



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