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Title: Gender mainstreaming in health: looking back, looking forward.
Authors: Ravindran, T K S
Kelkar-Khambete, A
Keywords: Public Health
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Global public health
Citation: Global public health. 3 Suppl 1; ; 121-42
Abstract: This paper reviews published literature on experiences in mainstreaming gender within the health sector since the 1990s. Although much has been written about the need for mainstreaming gender, and on how to go about it, the gap between intention and practice is palpable. National health policies and programmes that have gender integrally woven into their objectives and activities are rare. Health research to generate gender and sex-specific data, and integrating gender in health provider training, have received scarce attention. Mainstreaming gender within institutions has remained superficial, investing more on form than on content. The apparent lack of progress in mainstreaming gender in health may be attributed to: depoliticization and delinking of gender mainstreaming from social transformation and social justice agendas; adoption of top-down approaches to mainstreaming; growing hostility within the global policy environment to justice and equity concerns; and increasing privatization and retraction of the state's role in health. This paper suggests that the way forward would be to frame gender concerns in the language of equity, rights, and justice; to set agendas which consider gender inequity within the context of inequities by caste, class, ethnicity, and other sources of health inequalities; and to work alongside other movements for social justice.
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