The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria applauded release of the Global Health 50/50 Report, citing steep challenges in global health related to gender equality.
Coming on International Women’s Day, the report underscores how gender is one of the most significant social determinants of health, and how not enough has been done to achieve gender equality in global health organizations and in delivering gender-responsive programs.
The Global Fund is honored to be featured in the report as one of the highest scoring global health organizations, based on seven criteria related to gender equality.
“The Global Fund has made protecting and promoting human rights and gender equality a strategic pillar of our work, and we are acutely aware that gender inequality fuels the spread of epidemics,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund.
“There is still a long way to go to achieving gender equality, and this report identifies significant challenges.”
The report demonstrates progress that has been made in global health since 2000, particularly in improving child and maternal health and curbing the burden of infectious diseases.
It calls for increased efforts on Sustainable Development Goal 3 on health and well-being, and to address them from a nuanced gender perspective.
The report also identifies the need for more concerted effort on issues such as early forced marriage, gender-based violence and sexual exploitation.
The Global Fund is aware that unequal social standing for women is especially pernicious when it comes to HIV.
Harmful gender norms, discrimination, violence, limited access to education and a lack of tailored services inhibit women’s and girls’ access to health care and fuel new infections.
Every day, more than 1,000 teen girls and young women acquire HIV. In the hardest-hit countries, girls account for more than 80 percent of all new infections among adolescents. This is much more than a biomedical problem, and a purely medical response will not solve it.
This year, the Global Fund launched HER – HIV Epidemic Response – to marshal human and financial resources to enhance health services for adolescents, improve access to education and information, and ensure young people’s participation in designing and implementing programs meant to serve them.
Ultimately, HER aims to reduce the number of new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women significantly in 13 African countries over the next five years.