The World Health Organisation have come out strongly in favour of the gender-disaggregated reporting of key health data.
This is one of the key messages accompanying the publication of an important new WHO report by Sarah Payne of the School for Policy Studies at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom: How can gender equity be addressed through health systems? (WHO Regional Office for Europe Health Evidence Network and European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies Policy Brief 12).
The WHO argue that ’once gender-disaggregated data have become routinely available over time, trends can be observed that help make the case for gender-related budgeting, which can begin with relatively modest goals – assessing the difference between women and men in terms of the use of specific health services, for example – before moving on to strategies that begin to challenge such differences or address gender equity across the system as a whole.’
EMHF board member Professor Alan White said: ‘At Leeds Metropolitan University and through the EMHF, we’ve been pushing for some time for more gender-disaggregation in health date. This report shows how useful it can be and we’re delighted to see the WHO endorsing the approach.’
The report demonstrates that the data reveals important differences in the health experiences of women and men and that health systems can make important contributions to gender equality.
It suggests that gender equality is addressed by using various approaches, including legislation, organizational processes and information gathering.