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New Report: Learning from current gender equality practices in global health

Since 2018, GH5050 has published the Gender and Health Index and the Global Health 50/50 Reports on an annual basis. We’ve seen some evidence of change in the Index and we’ve heard from some organisations directly about the changes they’ve made, but we wanted to know: How effective is our Gender and Health Index to advancing gender equality in organisations active in global health?

To answer this question we commissioned Gender at Work to conduct an independent study with organisations reviewed in our annual reports. Gender at Work examined three key issues: 1) current gender, diversity and inclusion practices at global health organisations active in global health; 2) the relevance of the GH5050 annual reports and Gender and Health Index; and 3), the possibilities and pitfalls of measuring organisational culture. These three issues form the core of the new report published by Gender at Work, called Inform, inspire and incite actions to promote gender equality, diversity and inclusion.

It turns out that many organisations find the Gender Health Index and annual reports relevant to understanding the state of gender equality in global health. Findings from the feedback survey (sent out to all 200 organisations and to which 52 responded), show that the majority (89%) of respondents confirmed that the report provides important evidence. Most survey respondents (nearly 89%) concur that their organisation values and recognises the role of the GH5050 report in inspiring organisations active in the global health sector to promote gender equity.

The report also highlights eight strategies that organisations active in global health are currently deploying to support greater gender equality in their work and workplaces. These strategies include practices such as inclusive leadership, inclusive hiring, and training on gender, diversity and inclusion. At the same time, interviewees drew attention to the sometimes wide gaps between policies and practices.

Probing organisational culture is one possibility to understand the gaps between the policies and practices of organisations. The Centre for Global Inclusion defines organisational culture “as a system of shared beliefs, values, norms, habits, and assumptions that impact the organisation’s environment and influence how people behave within it.” The report explores a number of ways that organisations are measuring organisational culture internally while also raising some of the opportunities and challenges of including such a measure in the Gender and Health Index.

The full report is available to download here and provides several assets:

  1. The report presents significant evidence of the impact of the GH5050 annual reports and Gender and Health Index;
  2. The report describes a number of current gender equality practices in organisations active in global health;
  3. The report discusses the issue of organisational culture and how to measure it with some depth; and,
  4. The report outlines recommendations to improve the research and work of GH5050.

GH5050 is grateful to Gender at Work and all the organisations and informants who participated in the study for these valuable insights. We have begun responding to the recommendations, including exploring a variable on organisational culture in the 2023 annual report, and look forward to continuing to evolve our work for the better.