Advancing Gender Equality

Everyone should have equitable access to health, education, and economic opportunities, regardless of gender, circumstances, or geographical location. For more than 40 years, JSI has worked with governments, civil society organizations, and funders to transform gender norms and shift power dynamics.

We integrate gender considerations into every aspect of our work. We ensure that individuals of all genders, including those in vulnerable positions, have a central role in shaping program strategies that will support improvements in their lives through greater health, education, and socioeconomic equity.

We are committed to collaborating with people of all ages and stages of life for a future where gender equity is fully realized.

About our Work

Promoting Girls' and Women's Rights and Empowerment

Through the Bantwana Initiative, JSI focuses on advancing health and socioeconomic outcomes for girls and women. We challenge harmful gender norms and systemic discrimination by working with communities to promote girls’ and women’s rights, prevent violence, and foster healthy masculinity among men and boys.

JSI recognizes the critical need to understand and take into account how gender and social norms affect key aspects of health and development. Through our Behavior Initiative, we implement behavior-centered programs that aim to increase women’s agency and equity by identifying gender-based constraints and opportunities with communities during activity design, implementation, and evaluation.

Advancing Women's Role in Leadership and Workforce

Through the USAID Transform: Primary Health Care Activity, JSI and partners supported the Government of Ethiopia to develop a leadership, management, and governance training with tailored components for emerging female leaders. The project was able to bring more women into leadership positions and created conducive work environments for health care workers returning from maternity leave.

The Center for Health Logistics at JSI is committed to improving women’s representation in the health supply chain workforce and enhancing their access to essential health supplies. Our affiliate, inSupply Health, identifies and mitigates structural and systemic barriers for women as employees and clients.

Applying a Gender Lens to Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health and Nutrition Programs

The MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity project emphasizes equity in immunization through a comprehensive strategy to identify and overcome gender-related barriers to immunization coverage. We provided technical training on gender and immunization to ensure our staff prioritize and integrate gender and equity into all project activities. We also established a working group that serves as a technical learning hub for gender in immunization and a supportive community of practice, elevating the gender technical capacity of all project staff.

We are working with PATH on the DMPA-SC Access Collaborative to expand access to contraceptive commodities by reducing barriers to family planning and increasing autonomy and agency for women and girls in more than 20 countries. In Ethiopia, the Improve Primary Health Care Service Delivery project, implemented by JSI and Amref, is partnering with Women Children First to design a participatory learning and action strategy to empower women to seek and use health care.

USAID Advancing Nutrition is guided by a comprehensive strategy that integrates gender considerations across all nutrition activities. Our country programs in Honduras, India, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Mozambique, and Niger have conducted analyses and action plans to ensure effective gender integration. We have also developed a guide to support program planners in integrating gender at every phase of a nutrition program. Our project also focuses on gender-related nutrition issues, such as caregiver resources and family engagement.

Addressing Gender Norms for Better Disease Prevention and Care

The PMI Uganda Malaria Reduction Activity takes a comprehensive approach to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of malaria for people in high malaria burden regions of Uganda. Recognizing the influence of gender norms and dynamics on malaria outcomes, the Activity considers intersectional factors such as age, religion, ethnicity, geography, migratory and socioeconomic status, and health to tailor implementation strategies to regional contexts.

In Kyrgyzstan, the USAID Cure Tuberculosis Project conducted research that revealed that women and men face different barriers to the care and treatment of tuberculosis and that women are more vulnerable to stigma. Based on these findings, the project uses gender-sensitive messaging and partner engagement to promote equitable access to care and reduce stigma and discrimination against people living with tuberculosis.

Using Data to Increase Equity and Inclusivity

JSI uses gender-related data to identify and understand the differences in how women, men, and people facing vulnerability or marginalization access and experience health care services. The USAID Laos Maternal Child Health & Nutrition Activity conducted an analysis to explore the effects of unequal power relations and inequalities on health service access and use. These data will inform programs to reduce gender inequalities, foster social inclusion, and enhance women’s agency, ultimately expanding access to health services and improving client-centered care for individuals and families.

JSI and our partner Global ChangeLabs led a co-creation system design process to map and analyze system drivers of gender inequity in development assistance for health (DAH). The insights from this work offer key action areas to advance gender equity in DAH.

Through USAID’s Digital Health Activity, JSI is working to narrow the gender digital divide, providing financial and technical support to establish women-led youth enterprises and supporting the mainstreaming of gender in Ethiopia’s health information system.

Partner with Us

We strive to build lasting relationships to produce better health outcomes for all.