The Global Health 50/50 Report: How gender-responsive are the world’s most influential global health organisations?

Posted by Katy Elliott on March 12, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Global Health 50/50 seeks to advance action and accountability for gender equality in global health. The Global Health 50/50 Report, the first of its kind, provides a comprehensive review of the gender related policies of 140 major organisations working in and/or influencing the field of global health. The initiative is focused at the intersection of several SDGs, including health (3), gender equality (5), inequalities (10) and inclusive societies and institutions (16). Gender equality has seemingly been embraced as a priority in global health. However, the report is inspired by a growing concern that too few global health organisations walk the talk by defining, programming, resourcing or monitoring gender, either as a determinant of health, or as a driver of career equality in their own workplaces. The report seeks to provide evidence of where the gaps lie, while also shining a light on ways forward. Through an examination of seven domains, the report provides an in-depth look at the extent to which global health organisations commit and take action to promote gender equality, both through their programmes and operations, and within the workplace. The report is based on reviewing a snapshot of publicly available information between October 2017 and February 2018. In response to its findings, the report presents a series of evidence informed policy recommendations that global health organisations can take to be at the forefront of meaningfully driving gender equality in and through health.

This report arrives at a significant moment. At the time of publication, a number of organisations included in this review were under investigation for sexual misconduct by senior staff, including several organisations that performed relatively well on the domains analysed by GH5050. This discrepancy highlights the urgent need for organisations to live up to and put into practice their own policies on equality, non-discrimination and inclusion. Having the right policies in place is essential, but insufficient for ensuring a safe, respectful and equitable working environment and organisational culture. Allegations of sexual misconduct and entrenched cultures of sexism against the very organisations meant to serve and protect the rights of the most vulnerable among us lay bare the long road ahead to gender equality in the workplace. Independent accountability mechanisms such as GH5050 will play an important role; most critical will be a demonstrated commitment by the leadership of these organisations to transform the structures, norms and values that perpetuate inequality, including through the establishment of rigorous internal accountability mechanisms.

The full report can be accessed using this URL.