Gender, women and health

First global symposium on health systems research

Place: Montreux, Switzerland
Date 16-19 November 2010

WHO and partners are pleased to announce the First global symposium on health systems research: science to accelerate universal health coverage. Researchers, policy-makers, funders and other stakeholders representing diverse constituencies will gather in Montreux, Switzerland to share evidence, identify significant knowledge gaps and set a research agenda that reflects the needs of low- and middle-income countries, including women across their life-course.

Panel discussion, 17 November 2010, 11:00 - 12:30
Making health systems work for women: identifying gaps and developing a research agenda

There is growing evidence of how health systems fail to deliver for women in a responsive way that respects their differences from men, biologically and socially as constructed by gender norms, roles and relations. A recent review by WHO, using the six building blocks for health systems and the four primary health care reforms propounded in the World Health Report 2008, analyses the failure to protect women’s right to health and offers some recommendations, including for research.

This panel will examine selected aspects of this review - universal coverage, reforms to various aspects of the health systems functioning, health financing, human resources and financing - using examples from different parts of the world and making the case for a research agenda to strengthen efforts to make health systems work for women. Interventions are expected to include:

  • Women and health today: what implications for a health systems research agenda?
  • Why universal coverage reforms may not result in universal access to health services
  • Health care reforms: what has been missing?
  • Gender and human resources for health: a general overview and a closer look at community health workers and home carers
  • Increasing agency of health workers: the number of professionals is only part of the solution to the human resources crisis in Africa
  • Accountability: how civil society, patient advocacy and ombudspeople are part of the governance system, using examples from countries as diverse as Bangladesh and Brazil.
Satellite session, 15 November 2010, 14:00 - 17:30
Extending universal coverage through health systems research: key research issues for the health of women and girls over the life course

There is growing evidence of how health systems fail to deliver for women. A WHO panel at the First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (17 November 2010, Montreux, Switzerland) will examine selected aspects of failure, using examples from different parts of the world, and identify significant knowledge gaps. Participants are invited to sketch a research agenda to strengthen efforts to make health systems work for women.

Poster session: Effects of gender on patient-provider interactions and access of adolescents to reproductive health services

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