A hard-won honour

By John Skibiak, Director, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition

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Photo: Tim Mossholder/Unsplash

Today sees the launch of a report providing the world’s most comprehensive analysis on gender equality and the distribution of power and privilege in global health. We at the RHSC are delighted that our organization has been listed as a High Scorer in this year’s Global Health 50/50 Gender and Health Index, performing in the top 20% of the sample of 200 organisations active in the global health sector.

The 2020 Index covers four dimensions:

1. Commitment to gender equality

2. Gender equality and diversity policies at work

3. Gender and geography of global health leadership

4. Gender-responsiveness of health policies and programmes

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Among other fields, the RHSC ranked well for gender parity in our executive board, commitment to gender equality, and workplace gender policy. The scores are a testament to our years of commitment to gender equity, one example of this being the completion of our Discrimination and Harassment Policy a year ago. This process, however, was not straightforward. The RHSC is not in itself an employer, neither does it presume to represent the respective responsibilities of its 500+ agency members. However, its unique convening role and its wide diversity of membership could potentially make for social situations in which power imbalances, cultural misunderstandings and other factors could create an intimidating, uncertain, or even hostile environment. With this understanding, the RHSC forged a policy committed to maintaining an environment free from discrimination, harassment, and other forms of coercion that impede collaboration or the well-being of any community member.

Reporting for the compilation of the Gender and Health Index was also a considered — and somewhat involved — process, due to RHSC’s particular management model. As RHSC’s Secretariat is managed by an independent organization, a measure of discretion was called for in determining which policy documents could be shared. Despite this consideration, the RHSC scored high; a fact that we are very proud of.

By putting its data in the public domain, GH5050 provides a mechanism through which to hold organizations accountable for their progress on gender equality, making for a unique vehicle to reinforce the operationalization of the right to health. The RHSC is proud to have been considered in this exercise, but will continue to hone its public standing in gender equity, both in its governing policies as well as its mission.

It’s about supplies

Official blog of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition…

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