Gender Equality in Health

Culture encompasses the various facets of shared living, especially the values, attitudes, ideas, norms, and internalized habits and perceptions, and tends to define a community of people who have similar cultural practices. A diversity of cultures provides the world with a mosaic of experiences and paradigms. Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the most diverse regions in the world, though it is also where one of the largest disparities in terms of socio-economic classes exist. PAHO recognizes the need to address the ethnic, social and cultural diversities that exist within its Member States in order to create health policies and services that are accessible to entire populations. Currently, PAHO is working to strengthen the exchange of knowledge between health services and indigenous people, Afro-descendants and Rrom through intercultural means and trace routes to solve these problems.

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.