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PUBH 5560U Introduction to International Health Assignment
United Nations (n.d) states that gender equality is important to human and also a necessary foundation for sustainable peace in the world. The essence of gender equality is to provide women and girls equal opportunities to the male gender where they have access to health care, decent work, education, economic and political decision-making processes. Various targets are set to ensure that this sustainable development goal got achieved. According to the UN Economic development and Social Council (2017), the gender equality and women empowerment require vigorous efforts which include legal frameworks. These legal frameworks help in lawfully dealing with gender-based discrimination which is often a result of social norms. Furthermore, there are various Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that got targeted by this goal five of the United Nations. Some of these targets include ending any form of discrimination against all girls and women in the world. Also, the SDG targets to eliminate any harmful practice on women such as forced and early marriage, female genital mutilation. Moreover, SDG targets to ensure that there is global access to reproductive and sexual health and enable the use of technology in promoting women empowerment (UN Women, n.d).
Addressing the Social Determinants of Health
Expanding and Supporting Women’s Economic Opportunities
According to Vazirova (2017), expanding of women’s economic opportunities, women empowerment includes implementing and designing macroeconomic policies which enhance women’s economic opportunities. In spite of that, the macroeconomic policies ensure that women have access to decent work which ensures women’s rights get protected. Also, the policies ensure any form of the property gets secured and enhancing women’s access to financial services. Some of these financial services include microfinance which helps in the evaluation and rewarding them for unpaid domestic work and care. Vazirova (2017) states, “The introduction of programmes, such as mentorship and foreign exchange, to support girls in the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) can help close the gendered digital divide” (p.44).
Gender, Gender Equity, and Equality
Gender plays a crucial role in the biological differences between women and men which affects ages, race, economic, geographical and political environment. The gender equity enables the allocation of programs and resources that are equal to men and women. This enables both genders to enjoy similar rights and opportunities due to equal allocation of resources and involvement of women in the decision-making process. The essence of SDG goal 5 (gender equality and women empowerment) is that most women face difficulties in being involved in decision-making processes regarding social and economic resources. Pathania, (2017) states, “The Gender Action Plan 2016–2020 recognizes that gender equality is a matter of human rights, the foundation of democracy and good governance, and the cornerstone of inclusive, sustainable development. It acknowledges the underpinnings of gender inequality, namely the unequal gender power relations and gender-biased social norms that discriminate against women and girls, marginalizing them from the benefits of social, economic and political” (p.75)
Promoting Human Rights on Harmful Traditional Practices
The building of law enforcement and judiciary ensures gender justice for women who have been gender discriminated against and faced harmful traditional practices. Also, the policies help in addressing violence against women and creating public awareness of the importance of women sexual and reproduction health. Furthermore, the development of interventions that ensure girls get access to primary, and secondary education. This gets done mostly in marginalized areas which gives scholarships and tax credits related to education which encourage girl education and women empowerment. According to Regan (2018), “The social determinants of this indicator and these measures include the status of girls in society, their level of empowerment and their ability to make healthy choices – all of which gets reflected in the lack of educational opportunities for girls in many countries worldwide” (p.6). According to the SDG 5, gender equality and women empowerment, advocates for girls and women in education (UN Women, n.d).
Education Importance in Sustaining Development
The essence of gender quality in education is promoting the rights of women, and the commitment to SDG 5 gets shown by the development of gender-sensitive policies. Furthermore, education has helped in eliminating some gender-based discrimination and violence against women in schools. According to Pathania (2017), “UN World Survey on ‘the Role of Women in Development 2014’, as female education levels rise, infant and child mortality rates fall, and family health improves. Education also increases women's participation in the labor force and their contributions to household and national income. Women's increased earning capacity, in turn, has a positive effect on children's nutrition, health, and educational prospects” (p.78).
Industry’s Role in Sustainable Development
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) provides the industry with a foundation for promoting business investments and technological upgrades. By involving women in the development of technology, there are new jobs created which creates employment (Pathania, 2017). Thus, women become economically empowered which impacts positively in sustaining economic growth and industrial development. UNIDO also aims at creating programs that promote women growth and development which has a positive impact on the communities and national economy.
Application of “What’s the Problem” Analysis
Gender, Women, and Development
According to Bacchi (2009), the “What’s the Problem” approach is a tool which is intended to enhance interrogation of public policies. For instance, if the forms of training get recommended to improve the status and promote opportunities to women, then the implication is that lack of training becomes the setback. Johasson, (2016) states that the publication of Ester Boserup showed how European aid projects, policies and its workers discriminated against women. Furthermore, women did not get involved in development activities, thus, no resources got allocated to them. The problem created by this is that there was a segregation effect where men got training for modern machinery and cash-crop production.
On the other hand, women got trained only for issues about domestic welfare. It led to a productivity gap where men got considered as breadwinners for family wages. Women were considered to partake in household chores and motherly roles. The Ester Boserup created concern regarding this because it was a problem in that women only got considered on maternal and domestic roles and not productive roles that men played. The adopted framework by the international community (the 1970s), Women in Development (WID) (1980s) were to help in women development that enhanced efficiency in development processes, thus, the use of the efficiency approach. Moreover, the empowerment approach got used in supporting women agencies to protect women sexuality, race, and class.
The Gender mainstreaming was a concept that got created due to the wide exclusion of women when it came to development management. The concept got adopted by the United Nations in 1995 (Beijing) on the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women which is as follows:
“Mainstreaming a gender perspective is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in any area and at all levels. It is a strategy for making the concerns and experiences of women as well as of men an integral part of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres, so that women and men benefit equally, and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal of mainstreaming is to achieve gender equality” (Johasson, 2016, p.12).
The concept highlighted the essence of gender equality which acts as the basis for economic and social development. The main aim and difference of this regime were to ensure both men and women had an equal platform in all the activities they did. Also, gender mainstreaming has gotten criticized for poor and untimely results which got based on short-lived projects. Furthermore, gender mainstreaming has been problematic in that knowledge has resulted in increases in social changes which consist of education and awareness activities.
Maloutas, Bustelo, Lomnardo, and Meier, (2005) states that a system analysis of the position of women in Spain about political decision making diagnosed fewer women were involved in important policy-making decisions. In the Netherlands, the policies made by the government in promoting women’s participation in public governance and politics got highly neglected. Some of the problems presented were that there were limited assessment and monitoring of policies which would help to increase the number of women engaging in politics. In Spain, the main problem presented was that women not getting represented in significant positions in the labor market both in public and private enterprises. Also, there was under-representation when political parties and regional and national parliamentary representation. In Greece, women lacked equal opportunities when it came to decision making which was due to the Greek reasoning that hindered democracy. Also, the Greek government was reluctant to provide the citizens with equal opportunities and rights. “As a consequence, women’s lack of equal opportunities is a problem for the quality of democracy. However, it seems that the framing of the issue greatly varies depending on the occasion. The problem tends to be presented as a democracy issue when for instance the pro-quota speaker addresses an audience that is perceived as not necessarily friendly to quotas, such as the Greek Parliament, as a way to pass legislation through” (Maloutas et al., 2005, p.6).
Theory of Health Change Advocacy
According to the Document of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (2016), the theory of change’s successful implementation acts as a significant contributor to the success of the strategy. Furthermore, the theory of change may require the Strategic Gender Initiative (SGI) to get incorporated during the implementation period. These enhance the delivery and operational performance while also improving the environmental operation. UNFPA (2014) states that the MDGs and ICPD Programme of Action affirmed gender equality and reduced women discrimination of their reproductive rights and reducing poverty by enhancing sustainable development. Thus, gender equality and women empowerment advancement is a goal by itself and are centralized on achieving SDG. Despite that, some countries still have frameworks which hinder women’s reproductive rights. Moreover, gender equality challenges got linked by sociocultural norms and violating the rights of reproductive rights.
Figure 1: The Theory of Change
According to UNFPA (2014), the new strategic plan of UNFPA (2014-17) outlined contribution through strengthening national and international protection systems which would help in advancing reproductive rights of women. Moreover, it would promote gender equality and addressing any form of gender-based violence. Also, the outcome of the strategy was to prevent gender violence and enable delivery of humanitarian rights. UNFPA states, “In collaboration with OHCHR, WHO and civil society organizations (CSOs), UNFPA will advocate for the development of international human rights standards and accountability frameworks, to track reproductive rights within the context of the Universal Periodical Review (UPR) in the countries that are going through the annual periodic review” (p.11).
The article addresses social determinants that influence gender equality and women empowerment on the social, political and economic environment. Some of the social determinants of gender equity and equality which influences how various resources get distributed in regards to gender. In spite of that, the article gives a detailed explanation of how the “What’s the Problem” analysis influences political decision making in various countries and gender mainstreaming. Furthermore, the theory of change gets applied in addressing the gender equality and women empowerment. The theory of change helps in promoting women empowerment and gender equality by improving the reproductive rights of women.
1. Document of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. (2016). Strategy For the Promotion of Gender Equality 2016-2020. Retrieved from: file:///C:/Users/My/Downloads/Gender%20Strategy%20(English).pdf
2. Johasson, K. (2016). How Intergrated Are Women and Gender in Integrated Water Resources Management? Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Retrieved from: https://stud.epsilon.slu.se/9271/1/johansson_k_160628.pdf
3. Maloutas, P.M, Bustelo, M., Lomnardo, E. & Meier, P. (2005). Special Issue in the Framing of Gender Inequality as a Policy Problem Across Europe. The Greek Review of Social Research. Retrieved from: http://webs.ucm.es/info/target/Art%20Chs%20EN/ArtPolpart_GRSR_05EN.pdf
4. Pathania, K.S. (2017). Sustain Development Goal: Gender Equality For Women’s Empowerment and Human Rights. International Journal of Research-Granthaalayah. Retrieved from: http://granthaalayah.com/Articles/Vol5Iss4/08_IJRG17_A04_213.pdf
5. Regan. L. (2018). Addressing Unmet Needs in Global Women’s Health. British Medical Association. Retrieved from: file:///C:/Users/My/Downloads/Womens-health-globalhealth-report-aug2018.pdf
6. UN Economic and Social Council (2017). Progress Towards t
7. UN Women (n.d). SDG 5: Achieve Gender Equality and Empower Women and Girls. Retrieved from: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/women-and-the-sdgs/sdg-5-gender-
8. UN Women (n.d). Women and Sustainable Development Goals. United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Retrieved from: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/2322UN%20Women%20Analys
9. UNFPA. (2014). United Nations Population Fund: The UNFPA Business Strategic Plan 2014-17. UNFPA. Retrieved from: https://www.unfpa.org/.../Annex%202%20%28outcome%20theories%20of%20chang...
10. United Nations. (n.d). Goal 5: Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls. Sustainable Development Goal. Retrieved from: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/
11. Vazirova, A. (2017). SDGs and Gender Equality: UN Interagency Guidance Note for the Europe and Central Asia Region. United Nations Development Group Europe and Central Asia. Retrieved from: https://undg.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/UNFPA-EECARO-SDGs-GENDER-WEB.pdf