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U.S. Global Health Initiative

Women, Girls and Gender Equality

Two young girls study in a classroom.
Source: AFP

The Global Health programs are responding to the broader U.S. Government’s call of advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in all of its development work. Addressing gender norms and inequities, preventing and responding to gender-based violence (GBV), transforming power dynamics, and promoting gender equality are essential to improving the health status of a population.

Technical Assistance and Evaluation

The U.S. Government provides technical assistance to ensure gender analyses and interventions are integrated throughout its programs. The U.S. Government emphasizes five strategic approaches to the design, implementation and monitoring of programs. The activities supported aim to do one or more of the following:

  • Provide gender-equitable prevention, care, treatment and support.
  • Implement gender-based violence (GBV) prevention activities and provide services for post-GBV care.
  • Implement activities to change harmful gender norms and promote positive gender norms.
  • Promote gender-related policies and laws that increase legal protection.
  • Increase gender-equitable access to income and productive resources, including education

An essential aspect of the U.S. Government’s gender portfolio is monitoring and evaluation. Work in this area ranges from building the capacity of local organizations to incorporate gender into their monitoring and evaluation plans and implementing evaluations of gender-sensitive programs to developing indicators and evaluation frameworks for global gender issues and initiatives.


  • Since 2010, PEPFAR has reached over 114,000 individuals with post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV acquisition for sexual violence survivors in 19 countries. In FY 2013, 800 health facilities reported that they now offer GBV screening and/or assessment and provide referrals to relevant services – four times as many as the previous year.
  • U.S. Government implementing partners successfully leveraged other donor funds to support contraceptive implant service delivery in four countries. With Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Norad) funding, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)-supplied commodities, and USAID Mission funding, implant access has been improved in Togo, Guatemala, Benin, and Cambodia by introducing or increasing voluntary implants into existing service delivery sites. This success was aided by the U.S. Government-supported global agreement between donors and implant manufacturers, which resulted in a nearly 50 percent reduction in the price of contraceptive implants. This result is the beginning of the global effort to scale up implants, It is an example of leveraging resources and utilizing existing service delivery programs and capacity.
  • A U.S. Government-supported partner and the MaMoni Project in Bangladesh have engaged men in recognizing and supporting the health needs of their pregnant partners. This includes social and behavior change communication activities that teach men and women to recognize pregnancy complications, warning signs and the importance of a facility-based delivery.
  • U.S. Government work includes the importance of menstrual hygiene for women living with HIV/AIDS and the promotion of small doable actions that households and individuals can adopt to improve their water and sanitation health practices. In Uganda, a U.S. Government-supported partner is working with local women’s groups to provide menstrual hygiene supplies, such as locally made pads, as well as training to communities.