Intersecting with other determinants of health, including age, socioeconomic status and education, gender influences health-seeking behaviours and health outcomes. Gender-related barriers operate at multiple levels, from the individual and the household to the community, hindering access to immunization services.
Health interventions cannot effectively meet the needs of all unless informed by sex-disaggregated data and gender-sensitive analysis and action. An integral part of reaching every last child with vaccines is also the increased participation of women in immunization activities.
The GPEI monitors its interventions through a gender lens and conducts regular gender analysis to identify and address gender-related barriers in its immunization and disease surveillance activities.
The GPEI is committed to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women in its efforts to eradicate polio. On 11 May 2019, the GPEI Polio Oversight Board officially endorsed the GPEI Gender Equality Strategy, 2019-2023 with the objective to promote the integration of a gender perspective into different aspects of the GPEI’s programming, to support countries in addressing gender-related barriers to polio vaccination to increase coverage and increase women’s meaningful participation in the polio programme.
The Strategy will be operationalized by action plans that will be tailored to meet the specific needs and challenges within different country contexts.
In September 2022, the GPEI conducted a midterm evaluation of the GPEI Gender Equality Strategy. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess progress achieved against the objectives of the GPEI Gender Equality Strategy, identify existing challenges and provide guidance for potential adjustments and other programmatic decisions for the GPEI while reinforcing initiatives that have demonstrated potential for success. This assessment drew on mixed methods, including key informant interviews, an online survey and a desk review of key GPEI publications and gender parity figures in GPEI organisations and advisory bodies.
On 18 October 2022, the GPEI Polio Oversight Board reviewed the evaluation and the recommendations and approved the extension of the GPEI Gender Equality Strategy until 2026 to be in full alignment with the Eradication Strategy, 2022-2026.
- GPEI Gender Equality Strategy, 2019-2023:(extended until 2026, as of 18 October 2022 by approval of the Polio Oversight Board)
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- Mid-term Review of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) Gender Equality Strategy 2019-2023: October 2022
Gender Technical Briefs
The Gender Technical Brief includes a thorough gender analysis of polio eradication activities and introduces the GPEI’s gender-sensitive indicators.