Ten reasons to be cheerful

If you work on women’s rights and gender you may be feeling a little deflated by the last twelve months. It is easy to be demoralised by the stories which rush past our Twitter feed or jump out from newspaper headlines. To cheer myself up I decided to put together a list of RinGs’ top ten accomplishments in the hope that as we head out for the holidays we can keep our chins up and our heads high. I would love it if you could share some of your gender triumphs with us in the comments below. It is nice to celebrate the positives.

Kate Hawkins
21 December 2017

1. We have a new partner!

We are delighted that the original partners in RinGs have been joined by a new consortium, COMDIS-HSD, represented in RinGs by Helen Elsey and Rebecca King. COMDIS-HSD are working on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of TB, malaria, HIV and communicable diseases, within primary care and community settings in Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Swaziland and Ethiopia. They got off to a flying start with an intersectionality training which was a big hit!

2. The European Commission launched guidance on gender and health systems

With Sarah Hawkes (UCL), Sally Theobald and Jo Raven provided training to the European Commission. Reflection across staff at headquarters and in their country offices led to the publication of a report to galvanise gender analysis in policy and practice.

3. The launch of the WHO Gender and Equity Hub

The Global Forum on Human Resources for Health was a great opportunity to meet with colleagues from around the world who are working on gender equity. Sarah Ssali, Rosemary Morgan, and Sally Theobald attended and went to some great panels on community health workers, how to do gender analysis, and more. The launch of the WHO Hub on Gender and Equity in the Health Workforce was warmly welcomed. Do submit evidence to their ongoing consultation if you can.

4. Kui Muraya became a film star

OK, this may be a bit of an overstatement. However, we are delighted that Kui appeared in a film about her work on gender and health system governance and leadership in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria.

5. Our Health Policy and Planning supplement

We just can’t stop tweeting about these journal articles! It takes years to get a supplement published so when it finally arrives it brings a great deal of joy. Check out this collection which explains how gender intersects with other axes of inequity within specific contexts to shape experiences of health and health seeking within households, communities and health systems.

6. The World Health Summit

With our esteemed partners, Women in Global Health, we took part in a panel at the World Health Summit in Berlin on gender equality within the global health workforce. We were represented by Sally, Sreytouch, and Linda Waldman. A lot of discussion focused on the need to support individual women as well as addressing broader social, political and power dynamics that act as barriers, and for the need to take action at all levels – institutional, political and individual – to promote gender equity in the global health workforce.

7. Sreytouch Vong became a Heroine of Health

Sreytouch was named a Heroine of Health by Women in Global Health. ‘These women are working tirelessly to improve global health with dedication and passion to champion better healthcare for all.’ Much deserved! Check out her brief on women’s leadership in the Cambodian health system on the Building Back Better website.

8. Rosemary and Kui were published in the Lancet

Rosemary and Kui are authors of the widely read commentary on the ways that women are missing out on receiving medicine and public health awards. Thanks to the Lancet for publishing this work. We are glad to see that they have launched a call for papers on women in science, medicine and global health. Do send in your research!

9. New brief on intersectionality

Rebecca Wolfe, Sassy Molyneux and Rosemary worked with their colleagues to put together an excellent brief on the main tenets of intersectionality analysis, its value to health systems research, and how it relates to notions of everyday resilience.

10. An extension to our work

We are thankful to the UK Department for International Development for providing another two years’ worth of financing to RinGs so that we can continue to develop our work. Much appreciated. We have lots of ideas about how to keep gender at the top of the health systems research agenda as we move forward together in solidarity.

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