More Females Needed in Top Global Health Jobs

More Females Needed in Top Global Health JobsMore Females Needed in Top Global Health Jobs

Across the world—particularly in developing countries—women and girls are disproportionately affected by disease. Two and a half times as many adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa are infected with HIV than boys of the same age. In low and middle-income countries women experience a higher proportion of cardiovascular deaths than men. Approximately 830 women die from preventable causes during pregnancy or childbirth every day, the vast majority of whom live in developing nations.

This loss of life for women and girls has a profound impact. A study on the impact of maternal death in four African countries showed that children who had lost their mother had higher rates of infant mortality and dropped out of school earlier.

So how can these challenges that significantly impact women’s lives and well-being be better addressed?

To create meaningful and sustainable change in the disparity affecting women’s and girls’ health, there is need to substantially increase the number of female leaders in the global health sector. Healthcare systems that connect to the needs of women and children can be more effectively developed by women who have experienced the same journey. Including women’s voices can have a tremendous impact on actions and outcomes; what’s missing is the opportunity to do so, an article in said.

Women make up 75% of the global healthcare workforce, but only hold 38% of the top jobs in global health: a staggering gap. When Modern Healthcare released its list of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders 2016, there were only seven women on the entire list and none in the top ten.

A joint effort, including men and boys, can deliver better health outcomes for women and girls. It’s time for the public and private sectors to join forces to do more. In partnership with Global Health Council, Women in Global Health, UN Foundation, UN Women and GE, a dialogue to bring attention and sustainable action to the gender gap in global health leadership is being catalyzed.

With the 69th World Health Assembly this week, “we are calling on every global health and development stakeholder to commit to advancing women in global health leadership. We need women in leadership roles so that they can make and influence funding, resourcing and policy decisions.

By setting measurable goals within these areas, organizations can help more women rise to leadership roles. To advance gender equality in global health, global organizations must make a commitment before the next World Health Assembly in 2017.

At the core of every strong healthcare system are policies and programs that can deliver outcomes for those who are most affected. Today, women and children globally bear the burden of disease; with more women in leadership, this load can be decreased.