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Global Fund Gets Top Marks in New Report on Gender Equality in Global Health

08 March 2021

GENEVA – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is honored to be ranked as one of the “12 very high-scoring” organizations on gender equality in the Global Health 50/50 Report, released today. The report, entitled Gender equality: Flying Blind in A Time of Crisis, surveyed 201 global health organizations to assess how gender equality is being advanced both within the organizations and in the health programs they run. The report identified 45 high scorers in 2021, including 12 very high-scoring organizations and 33 high-scoring organizations.

Kent Buse and Sarah Hawkes, Co-Directors of Global Health 50/50, congratulated the Global Fund for this year’s performance: “By taking deliberate and transparent actions, the Global Fund keeps the pressure on themselves and others in the sector to continue pushing for change, and provides much needed hope that we can achieve gender equality in our quest for health, dignity and social justice for all.”

The Global Fund’s strategy for 2017-2022 commits us to promoting and protecting human rights and gender equality. Accelerating progress in addressing the gender and human rights barriers to accessing health care is vital to reducing the number of infections and improving the effectiveness of treatment services.

“Our rating in the Global Health 50/50 report reflects not just the fundamental importance of gender equality to our work, but also our continued commitment to gender equality within the organization,” said Marijke Wijnroks, Chief of Staff of the Global Fund. “We are an organization that is committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion and we have put specific measures in place for that, including in our recruitment processes and in our benefits packages to staff. We have strengthened our codes of conduct to address diversity, equity and inclusion. Our commitment to address gender issues is wide-ranging, transparent and backed up with training.”

Overall, the report underscores that a lot of work still needs to be done to accelerate progress on gender equality in global health, as shown by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report found that global health programs have failed to provide equitable and gendered responses to the pandemic, leading to predominantly “gender-blind pandemic responses.” Released on International Women’s Day, the report regrets the lack of determined and concrete measures to end gender inequality inside organizations as well failure to apply a gender lens in health programming.

While underscoring the need for more action, the report also identifies several areas of hope – noting that incremental progress has been made since the first report four years ago. More organizations have shown great commitment to gender equality and more organizations are becoming increasingly transparent about their policies on shaping diverse, inclusive and equitable working environments for people.

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