Women & Girls

Share this page

Twitter Facebook
  • Gender inequalities continue to increase women’s and girls’ health risks. HIV is the leading cause of death of women of reproductive age in low- and middle-income countries. In the hardest hit countries, girls account for more than 80 percent of all new HIV infections among adolescents. Globally, young women aged 15-24, are most vulnerable to HIV with infection rates twice as high as those in young men.

  • Biomedical interventions meant to avert infections in women will not reduce their vulnerability to HIV. Structural transformations – social, political and cultural – need to happen in order to end the spread of HIV.

    The Global Fund partnership is determined to work harder on improving the health of women and girls by focusing on maternal, newborn and child health, with interventions for antenatal care, childbirth, family planning and holistic care for survivors of gender-based violence. Maternal mortality is being reduced in many countries, but not fast enough. In Ethiopia, where the Global Fund is one of many partners working with the government on health programs, the maternal mortality ratio dropped by 6.4 percent between 2000 and 2013.

    Much more needs to be done. The Global Fund’s Gender Equality Strategy Action Plan lays out a roadmap for achieving strategic, high-impact and gender-transformative investments to prevent new infections and save more lives.

    In 2015, the Global Fund prepared a paper on this critically important issue:

    • Maximizing Impact through Strategic Investments
      Improving the Health of Women and Girls

  • Funding Model

    The funding model is designed to maximize investments in programs that reach women and girls with critical services, including strengthened links with reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health through better access to funding processes. Using available estimates from partners and our investment data, the Global Fund estimates that 55 to 60 percent of its spending benefits women and girls, with a positive impact on reproductive health.

    The Global Fund strongly supports efforts to address gender inequalities and strengthen community systems that will reach women and girls. As part of reforms to boost inclusion of women, analyzing the role of gender is now an obligatory part of the concept note process. Concept notes submitted over the past year demonstrated a significant improvement in how countries have engaged with the gender dynamics of their epidemics. Country Coordinating Mechanisms now have guidelines for expertise on gender and for striving toward equal representation of men and women in Global Fund-related decision making. In 2015, 39.2 percent of CCM members in implementing countries are women, an increase from 33.9 percent in 2010.

    Interventions that support adolescent girls and women in gaining access to health services vary by country. For example, in Afghanistan, the Global Fund is investing in female community health nurses, supporting them to deliver TB prevention and care to women in remote communities who otherwise cannot visit health facilities without the escort of a male relative. In Lesotho, the Global Fund has invested in the development of National Guidelines for Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV, as well as in integrating sexual and reproductive health with HIV services so that women can access both services in one place.

    For sustainable impact, the Global Fund partnership is exploring investments to keep adolescent girls and young women in school and HIV-free. These approaches have the potential to create a critical mass of healthy, educated and financially independent women who get married later, have children when they plan to, and keep their children healthy.

  • Learn more about some of the programs that support women and girls.

    News & Stories