Call to Action: Universal Health Coverage

Posted by Maria Codina on July 9, 2019 at 1:41 pm



On 23 September 2019 a landmark United Nations High-Level Meeting (UN HLM) will be held in New York City, on the theme: “Universal Health Coverage: Moving together to build a healthier world”. The UN HLM on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a unique opportunity to secure political commitment for UHC from Heads of State and Government and ensure it reaches the most marginalised women and girls, leaving no-one behind.

This meeting is a critical opportunity for the Women in Global Health community to advocate at global and national levels for gender equality and women’s rights to be central in UHC. Our message is simple: UHC will not be achieved anywhere without addressing gender equality, women’s rights and the role of women in the global health workforce.

In preparation for the UN HLM Multi-stakeholder Meeting on 29 April, and the UN HLM on 23 September, UHC2030 has issued 6 Key Asks to Member States from the UHC Movement:

ASK 1: Ensure political leadership beyond health – Commit to achieve UHC for healthy lives and wellbeing for all at all stages, as a social contract.

ASK 2: Leave no one behind – Pursue equity in access to quality health services with financial protection.

ASK 3: Regulate and legislate – Create a strong, enabling regulatory and legal environment responsive to people’s needs

ASK 4: Uphold quality of care – Build quality health systems that people and communities trust.

ASK 5: Invest more, invest better – Sustain public financing and harmonize health investments.

ASK 6: Move together – Establish multi-stakeholder mechanisms for engaging the whole of society for a healthier world.

The UN HLM Multi-stakeholder Meeting on 29 April, 2019, inspired a newly formed group Alliance for Gender Equality and Universal Health Coverage (UHC), Co-Convenors: International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), Women Deliver and Women in Global Health (WGH)  to Launch a New 7th Ask.

ASK 7:  Gender Equality and Women’s Rights as Drivers of Health – Commit to gender equality and women’s rights (including SRHR) as foundational principles for UHC.

Read our blog post on the 7th Ask here. 

Download the 7th Ask from the Alliance 

Sign-On Today –>

Gender equality and women’s rights in UHC drive better health for all. This is everybody’s business.

The Alliance for Gender Equality and UHC asks UN Member States to address three critical areas in the UN HLM on UHC and in the HLM Political Declaration:
  1. ​Gender equality and women’s rights as central to the design and delivery of UHC

  2. The female health workforce as central to the design and delivery of UHC

  3. Women’s voice and leadership as critical to the UN HLM process

We ask the WGH community to support this Call to Action by:

1) Disseminating our ASKs and Key Messages to Member States, global health influencers and international organisations active in global health;

2) Advocating for our ASKs with your government representatives to ensure these points are included when Member States negotiate the Zero Draft of the UN HLM Political Declaration from June 2019;

3) Including our ASKs in wider civil society advocacy platforms for the UN HLM since gender is a cross cutting issue and impacts upon all aspects and sectors of health;

4) Asking your government to send a gender balanced delegation to the UN HLM in September to ensure the voices of all genders are equally represented;

5) Using our ASKs and Key Messages to support events, publish blogs and articles and engage in social media to raise awareness in your national context.


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