The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic demonstrated the need to strengthen the focus on gender from an integrative and multisectoral perspective to address health care problems. This article seeks to highlight the importance of incorporating and strengthening the gender focus in policies for building resilient, equitable, and universal health care systems. With this objective in mind, the role of women in the health sector is addressed from two directions. The first examines women’s conditions of access to health systems in the Region of the Americas and highlights the need to overcome the obstacles that prevent the full realization of their right to health care. The second discusses the preponderant role of women in the health labor market, and the need to expand their leadership in decision-making in the sector. Finally, an appeal is made for progress in the implementation of recommendations to strengthen the focus on gender and the role of women in health policies and systems.
Fitzgerald et al.
Opinion and analysis