Global Resources

Integrating a Gender Perspective into the Delivery of Sexual and Reproductive Health Services

Publication Date: Jun 2004
The Programa de Coordinaci¢n en Salud Integral (PROCOSI), a network of NGOs working for health and development in Bolivia, launched a Gender Programme in 2000 with funding from the USAID Mission in Bolivia. The aim was to integrate a gender perspective into NGOs delivering reproductive and sexual health services. Relevant instruments and indicators were adapted from the International Planned Parenthood Federation's ' Manual to Evaluate the Quality of Care from a Gender Perspective'. The programme succeeded in raising awareness and changing views and behaviour of some staff, with positive effects on their home life as well as their work. Female staff demanded greater respect on the job from male staff. Discussions in consultations became more open on women's sex lives, breast cancer, domestic violence, and other sexual and reproductive health issues. Screening of women's reproductive health needs became more systematic, contributing to a 35 percent drop in unmet need for contraceptive services. There were also modest improvements in client comfort, client satisfaction, and the quality of care, although these did not translate into increased demand for services. The largest expenses for the participating NGOs were staff time and costs