Gender Equality in Health

Equality in health means that women and men have equal conditions for realizing their full rights and potential to be healthy, contribute to health development, and benefit from the results. Gender equity means fairness and justice in the distribution of benefits, power, resources, and responsibilities between women and men.

Women and men have different needs, access to, and control over resources. These differences should be addressed in a manner that rectifies the imbalance between the sexes.  

Achieving gender equality will require specific measures designed to eliminate gender inequities.

Key facts

In the Region of the Americas, indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, Roma, and members of other ethnic groups continue to experience structural discrimination, exclusion,
and inequality.

The invisibility and discrimination often experienced by these populations heighten their conditions of vulnerability.

These populations pose a challenge for meeting the targets of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including those on universal access to health and universal health coverage, tuberculosis, malaria, and mental health, among others.

What PAHO does

PAHO urges the Member States to consider the connection between ethnicity and health, and to promote an intercultural approach that will contribute, among other aspects, to the elimination of access barriers to health services and improve the health outcomes of indigenous peoples, Afro descendants, Roma, and members of other ethnic groups, as appropriate, considering their national contexts, priorities, and regulatory frameworks.

PAHO will provide technical cooperation to the Member States for the implementation of actions with an intercultural approach geared to the following priority lines: a) the production of evidence; b) the promotion of policy action; c) social participation and strategic partnerships; d) recognition of ancestral knowledge and traditional and complementary medicine; and e) capacity development at all levels.