Gender Equity


Evidence has shown that empowered women and girls can act as agents of change in their communities, leading to larger and longer-term benefits to health and society. At UCSF we are working on a number of projects that see women as more than recipients of health programs or information, but rather as key players in the development of these interventions. These projects use human-centered design and community-based participatory approaches to engage women throughout the process of research and intervention design and evaluation. We are also involved in research that aims to empower women, as well as engage men, while also providing key reproductive, maternal, child health and nutrition information (RMNCH+N). This involves interventions that incorporate life skills, economic empowerment, or livelihood components, while also providing comprehensive information for women across the lifecourse. Fundamental to our work is an awareness that women are multifaceted and care should not be siloed (only family planning or only prenatal care, for example)--and thus we work on integrated care that can empower women with knowledge and skills that extend beyond any one time point in her life. Finally, empowering women and decreasing inequality requires changes in gender norms, which requires engaging individuals, households and communities. We are working on developing and validating measures of gender norms that can be used for a variety of RMNCH+N outcomes, in different geographies, that are parsimonious, and that measure under-explored aspects of norms and empowerment, such as social sanctions or reproductive autonomy. We are also leading the development and evaluation of interventions that seek to shift gender norms among men and women at the individual and household levels.