On December 10, 2021, Banyan Global presented at the Global Health Landscape Symposium hosted by the Global Health Council (GHC). Victoria Rames, Banyan Global Senior Associate and Chief of Party of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Gender Integration Technical Assistance (GITA) II Task Order joined several panelists to discuss gender-responsiveness related to COVID-19 in global health systems.
In her presentation, Ms. Rames built upon lessons learned from the Job Aid Tool for USAID Activities: Carrying out a COVID-specific Gender Analysis; USAID COVID-specific Gender Analyses; and a COVID-Specific Gender Analysis Learning Series that Banyan Global developed for USAID in 2020 and 2021. She highlighted several key issues for the global health system response:
- Use a human centered design approach that reflects systems-thinking and bundles policy measures that work across systems to simultaneously address multiple economic, social, and health shocks. This integrated approach will inform comprehensive solutions that promote the health of women and girls, men and boys, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) persons, and may include fiscal, labor market, and education policies and plans.
- Support gender-responsive data collection, including gender-responsive national and sub-national COVID-19 analyses, to inform strategies, policies (including fiscal) plans, and budgeting.
- Strengthen services for women and girls who experience violence, including where COVID-19 has exacerbated existing risk factors and vulnerabilities. This entails including gender-based violence (GBV) prevention, mitigation, and response in COVID-19 response plans and ensuring adequate availability of remote post-GBV response services, as well as providing supplies (for the clinical management of rape and other forms of GBV), and updating and disseminating information on GBV standard operating procedures and referral pathways.
- Put women, including health care providers, at the center of COVID-19 responses, including policy solutions, to ensure that women’s voices, needs, and rights are reflected in pandemic responses, recovery, planning, and decision-making.
- Analyze and address the larger context of gender equality, including norms and access to resources and how they are evolving and changing throughout the pandemic and affecting access and use of health services.