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Global Health 50/50: a new gender equality initiative for global health

By The editorial team
on October 12, 2017 


12th October 2017 sees the initial launch of a new independent initiative that seeks to advance action and accountability for gender-equality in global health – Global Health 50/50. The launch coincides with the Women Leaders in Global Health conference at Stanford University (


The initiative, housed by the Centre for Gender and Global Health at University College London, and is co-lead by the center’s director Professor Sarah Hawkes and Dr Kent Buse, chief of Strategy Directions at UNAIDS. It has three tracks:


  1. Policy analysis and research, including the annual Global Health 50/50 signature report
  2. Empowering a #GH5050 policy community of key influencers with evidence for advocacy
  3. Celebrating success through communicating changes to global health institutions


The goal is to shift Global Health Institutions’ organizational culture, policy and practice towards gender equality.

“The inaugural Global Health 50/50 report, to be launched on International Women’s Day 2018 (March 8)… will examine the gender policies and practices of approximately 150 organizations that support global health efforts.”

The intuitive has mustered a high powered set of influences inside and outside global health institutions, including

Jocalyn Clark, Executive Editor, The Lancet, Gary Darmstadt, Professor and Associate Dean for Maternal and Child Health, Bience Gawanas, former Commissioner for Social Affairs, African Union Commission, Ulrika Modeer, State Secretary for Development Cooperation, Sweden and Sania Nishtar, Founder and President of Heartfile, Pakistan

I was proud to break the glass ceiling as Prime Minister of New Zealand and to make major strides towards gender equality at UNDP, and I firmly believe that it should and can become the norm across the entire health and development system. But the gender in global health agenda is wider than representation. It’s about power, economics and about the right to realize your full potential to lead a healthy life. I look forward to working with Global Health 5050 to realize that potential.” Helen Clark, GH 50/50 advisor and former Prime Minister of New Zealand & Administrator, UNDP

@GlobalHlth5050: “It’s 2017 and yet, less than ¼ #globalhealth orgs surveyed so far meeting gender parity at governance level @GlobalHlth5050 #GenderEquality… Let’s speed up the pace of change”


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