Gender and Health Data and Statistics: An Annotated Resource Guide

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Author(s): Bloom SS, Arnoff E

Year: 2012

Gender and Health Data and Statistics: An Annotated Resource Guide Abstract:

Gender-responsive health data are critical for generating evidence on best practices and for advancing and informing health policies, which will improve the health of women and families. Global donors and bilateral agencies have recently expressed an urgent need for interventions, programs, and policies to address gender equality and other structural factors that influence health outcomes, particularly with the aim of improving women’s health. The demand for gender-related information in monitoring and evaluation of health programs and policies has been clearly articulated, yet several challenges related to the collection, analysis and utilization of such data persist.

The minimum requirement for a gender-based analysis is the availability of sex disaggregated health data. These data are collected in surveys and some routine health systems, such as those developed in response to the HIV pandemic. However, many routine systems do not collect sex disaggregated data, or when they are collected, they are not analyzed and reported. Even when these data are available, there is a lack of guidance and tools pertaining to conducting gender-based analysis. These analyses aim to illustrate the effects of gender-related factors on the performance of health programs and resulting effects on health status. Standardized, gender-sensitive health indicators exist in some areas, such as gender-based violence, but are lacking in general. The success of health advocates, policy-makers and other stakeholders attempting to reduce gender-based health inequities depends on ready access to quality gender-related health information.

An expert consultation, “A policy dialogue to strengthen evidence to improve women’s health through gender and health statistics,” was held in Washington DC, October 25–27 2010 to discuss these issues. The need for more gender-related health data and statistics was recognized, along with better access to existing resources. This guide is an annotated compilation of these resources, developed by MEASURE Evaluation at the request of USAID’s IGWG and the Department of Gender, Women and Health of the WHO).