Although the majority of health workers in developing countries are female, various forms of gender discrimination present significant barriers to achieving gender equality within the health workforce and to achieving gender equity in access to health care. When gender inequalities and discrimination operate in the workforce they may impede entry into health occupations and contribute to attrition, absences from work, lower productivity, poor health, and low morale of health workers.
Addressing gender-related discrimination and inequality in human resources for health (HRH) policy and planning, workforce development and management, and workforce support is essential to addressing the global shortage and maldistribution of health workers and improving the accessibility and quality of services.
CapacityPlus’s approach to strengthening the health workforce needed to implement quality health programs aligns with the first principle of the US Government’s Global Health Initiative, a “focus on women, girls and gender equality.” The project works across its focus areas to facilitate national governments’ use of gender information to guide health workforce policy, planning, development, and management decisions that promote gender equality as an essential contributor to HRH system strengthening.
CapacityPlus integrates gender perspectives in all technical leadership collaborations with global and regional partners to develop new HRH frameworks, tools, guidelines, and evaluation activities. At the national level, the project fosters government support to engender HRH policies and strategic plans to be responsive to gender inequalities, discrimination, and violence in the workplace, as well as in health worker education, training, retention, and productivity initiatives.
CapacityPlus’s assistance supports key programming recommendations included in the Global Health Initiative’s supplemental guidance on women, girls, and gender equality principles.