Global Resources

Promoting gender equality in the health workforce: an advocacy tool

Publisher: Capacity Plus
Publication Date: Jan 2016

Leaders from national ministries of health, finance, labor, and education, as well as from health professional councils, health training institutions, and health facility managers can play a key role addressing gender discrimination. However, they may not know what steps to take to ensure that policies are effectively introduced, financed, implemented, and enforced to promote equal opportunity, nondiscrimination, and gender equality in the health workforce.

This tool by Capacity Plus seeks to guide users on how to develop evidence-based, strategic actions to influence decision-makers, and change policies, positions, or programs, and shows users how advocacy can help to achieve gender equality in the health workforce. This tool was field-tested in Cross River State, Nigeria, where stakeholders drafted a strategic advocacy plan for gender equality in the health workforce and have formed a Gender Working Group to follow up on these activities.

This advocacy tool will help you to:

  • Understand how common forms of gender inequalities and gender discrimination, such as pregnancy and family responsibilities, occupational segregation, wage discrimination, and sexual harassment can negatively affect the health workforce.
  • Examine data to assess whether the health workers in your country, program, or health facility may be experiencing one or more of these forms of gender discrimination.
  • Consider relevant gender-transformative interventions to implement in your context that would seek to critically examine gender inequalities, support an enabling environment for equality, promote marginalised groups, and/or change underlying social and cultural norms that perpetuate inequality and discrimination.
  • Develop a strategic advocacy plan to create, implement, and enforce equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policies and improved management to reduce gender discrimination and work toward a more motivated and effective workforce that can better serve the population’s family planning, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and other primary health care needs.