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News & Blogs2019-09-24T06:57:57+00:00
2705, 2020

The Impact of Act East GESI sensitization trainings in Tanzania

By Paula Majumdar, May 2020 After an interview with Dr. Michael Mboya, a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at the Ministry of Health in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, I gained some insight as to how impactful our Act to End Neglected Tropical Diseases | East gender equity and social inclusion (GESI) trainings are for our participants. I really appreciated his enthusiasm for the topic and hope that we have the opportunity to foster this type of eagerness among participants in the future. Here are his responses below: Before this training what did you think of the word gender? Prior to the training I was already familiar with the concept of gender, however this training brought greater awareness around social inclusion. I learned more about marginalized groups and other pockets in society that are less fortunate. […]

1405, 2020

COVID-19 and Gender. Women Twice at Risk

By Helen John, Gender, Social Inclusion, and Community Engagement Advisor, Integrated Health Project (IHP) Bauchi State, Nigeria COVID-19 and Gender. Women Twice at Risk In December 2019, the world witnessed a major event which has now affected all of us in some way – the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Coronavirus was declared a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) by the World Health Organization (WHO) in late January 2020 and has since spread to many countries and territories across the globe. COVID-I9 is an illness which affects the respiratory system. According to the WHO, most people infected will experience mild illness and recover without special treatment. However, older people and those with underlying medical issues like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more at-risk and may become more seriously ill. Disease outbreaks affect women and men differently, and pandemics make existing inequalities for women, girls and discrimination of other marginalized groups such as persons with disabilities and those in extreme poverty, worse. This needs to be carefully considered, given the different impacts surrounding detection and access to treatment for women and men. […]

1405, 2020

Accounting for Gender and Social Inclusion Through Work Plan Development: My Experience With the Primary Health Care (2020-2021) Work and Business Plan

By Stella Abah, Gender, Social Inclusion, & Community Engagement Advisor, IHP Kebbi State, Nigeria The PM of SEMCHIC shares background on the workplan and costing templates. Photo Credit: IHP. “Gender integration” and “mainstreaming” are phrases that we frequently use, but I often hear from colleagues, ‘what does that really mean,’ and ‘what does that look like in practice’? Though the terms may sound similar they are in fact not interchangeable. Gender integration is the process of assessing the implications for women, girls, men, boys for any programs and activities, whereas gender mainstreaming is the process of assessing the implications for women, girls, men, boys for any action plans, legislation, and policies. We know that integrating gender and social inclusion into all stages of activity planning, design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation is critical to achieving the goals of the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child Health, Malaria, and Nutrition (RMNCH+NM) program that we support in Kebbi State in Northern Nigeria, through the USAID Integrated Health Program (IHP). Sometimes, however, even we gender advisors can get stumped when asked to identify tangible examples of gender and social integration. I saw this gap as an opportunity to showcase some of my recent experiences to demonstrate how natural and beneficial this process can be to men, women, boys, girls and society at large. […]

1405, 2020

Gendered Impact of COVID 19 on Women and Girls

Facility Staff educating women on hand washing and GBV during ANC and postnatal visit at Kanya PHC Every pandemic, disease outbreak or crisis of any kind affects women, men, boys, girls and individuals of diverse gender identities differently. These effects are further compounded with several intersectional factors of exclusion such as disability and ethnicity. COVID-19 is no different, and undoubtedly within Kebbi State, women, girls and marginalized communities will be among the populations most affected by the pandemic. This is in part due to gender norms, which are endemic to the State and Nigeria as a whole. Gender norms are values and practices that affect everyone at all times and in every walk of life. Due to inequitable distribution of power, wealth, opportunities and access to vital health services, COVID-19 will intensify gender issues and imbalances. There is, however, an opportunity to improve relations and responsibilities among the genders if we choose to take it. […]

1405, 2020

Engaging Men: The Panacea for Achieving Gender Equality in Maternal and Child Health

Engaging Men: The Panacea for Achieving Gender Equality in Maternal and Child Health By Helen John, Gender, Social Inclusion, and Community Engagement Advisor, Integrated Health Project (IHP) Bauchi State, Nigeria  Maternal mortality is unacceptably high. Globally, approximately 295,000 women died during and during pregnancy and childbirth in 2017[1]. The vast majority of these deaths (94%) occurred in low-resource settings, and most saddeningly of all, most could have been prevented[2]. Reduction of maternal mortality and infant mortality account for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) objectives 3.1 and 3.2 respectively and are recognized as vital to ensuring more equitable and healthier lifestyles across age and gender by 2030. To improve maternal and infant mortality rates, improved access to and quality of health services is crucial. In Nigeria, men are seen as “gatekeepers” in the family, with the power over decision making and resources. One avenue to increasing women’s access to care is the increased engagement of their male partners in the pregnancy and general maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) decisions within their families. […]

1405, 2020

Laraba the Young Girl

By Aisha Ahmed, Gender, Social Inclusion, and Community Engagement Advisor, Integrated Health Project (IHP) Sokoto State, Nigeria Violence against women, girls and boys are the most prevalent human rights violations in the world and are not restricted by any social, economic, or national boundaries. Gender-based violence (GBV) undermines the health, dignity, security, and autonomy of its victims, yet it remains shrouded in a culture of silence. Victims of violence can suffer sexual and reproductive health consequences, including forced and unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, traumatic fistula, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, and even death. Unfortunately, these are not Sokoto specific, but they are particularly dire in my state. The following story was told to me by a young girl called Laraba. Through the course of my work, I often come into contact with women who have faced gender-based violence and sexual assault, and as it is very too common in Sokoto, these women are often left without recourse or hope of justice and access to vital health services. […]

2302, 2020

Supporting a Future without Violence in Bauchi State – Policy Activism Around the 2019 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign

By Helen John, Gender, Social Inclusion, and Community Engagement Advisor, IHP Bauchi State, Nigeria UN logo for the 2019 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign Rape is universally considered to be having or performing sexual acts with a person who – is forced, does not want to, feels threated, or is unable to consent. Rape applies to the sex organs but also includes non-consensual oral and anal violations. Like in many other developing countries, rape is endemic in Nigeria. UNICEF reported in 2015 that one in four (1:4) girls and one in 10 (1:10) boys under age 18 in Nigeria had experienced sexual violence. In Nigeria, rape victims usually lack the courage to speak out or report their experiences to the law enforcement agencies due to negative societal attitude. According to the 2018 Nigeria DHS, 32% of women who have ever experienced physical or sexual violence have sought help to stop the violence, while 55% have never sought help or told anyone about the violence. Recognizing the danger posed by rape to individuals and the society as a whole, Nigerian laws criminalize rape to some degree. Rape is defined under section 357 of the Criminal Code which applies to the Southern part of Nigeria as: Any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of false and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act, or in the case of a married woman, by personating her husband is guilty of an offence which is called rape. […]

2302, 2020

Saving Kebbi State from Malnutrition: The Dream of a Local Girl

By Nafisa Abubakar Zaki – Gender, Social Inclusion & Community Engagement Advisor (GSICEA), IHP Kebbi State, Nigeria The first 1,000 days of a child’s life offer a unique window of opportunity for preventing undernutrition and its consequences. (UNICEF) Participants listen to presentations during the State Committee on Food & Nutrition Meeting, Kamba Town, Kebbi State, Nigeria (Photo Credit: Nafisa Zaki-GSICEA) With over 11 million stunted children, Nigeria is, without doubt, confronted with the challenge of malnutrition and ranks second with highest number of stunted children globally. For Kebbi, various statistics exist highlighting the severity of the problem. In a 2018 speech for Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week, wife of the Kebbi State Governor her excellency Zainab Bagudu stated that, “for Kebbi, there are various quoted statistics ranging from 47 to 90 percentage prevalence in 2017, the stunting rate stood at 60.3 per cent well above the national average of 32 per cent…Whatever the figure is, it is too high.” […]

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