Health Education Development/Funding gender equity

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USAID works with Nigerians to improve agriculture, health, education, and governance (7269587244)

Gender is a much discussed dimension of our lives. However, we do not always agree on what it means and what means will be used to ensure that people have access to the resources that they require to further their well-being and establish their rights. Carefully consider what is presented on this page and its links. But, keep an open mind. There is much to be thought about. One go will not be enough.


Each week we hold a lectorial and a tutorial. The lectorial is a lecture involving audience participation. The tutorials are for discussing the and group activities relating to the topic, and for working on the assignments.


  1. Watch the videos in this playlist
  2. Review story and background. Read Annex 3 of Health education: theoretical concepts, effective strategies and core competencies (WHO 2012), "Code of ethics for the health education profession", pages 72-75.
  3. Attend the lectorial having considered the issues.


  1. Review the materials for the tutorial, Summarize (page 165) and Make Referrals (page 166).
  2. Attend the tutorial to support your colleagues.

What are the key issues to consider for funding submissions engaging gender equity concerns?[edit]

Okay, here is a very short test. Which kills more women every year in Australia, breast cancer or heart disease? If you answered breast cancer, you are wrong. In fact, women are almost four times as likely to die of a heart attack. What the heck? Can that be right? Well, yes. How can that be you ask? Well, I am going to sneak a little bit of class into this discussion of gender equity to answer that question. It seems that when health researchers were investigating heart disease, they reckoned they would need large sample sizes. Now, quantitative research is not cheap. So, some bright spark got the idea to go where the largest populations of workers were and run the tests in the workplace. If you are quick, you have probably realised that, at the time the research was being conducted, these sites mainly employed what the folks in the Unites States would call blue-collar, or working-class, males. So, heart health and pathology was modeled on the male. Then, an interesting thing happened. If memory serves me well, it was the Jean Hailes Foundation which noted that female senior managers in stressful jobs had similar rates of coronary events as their male counterparts. The symptoms and the underlying pathologies were not always the same; but, women were being incapacitated and dying prematurely of heart disease. The thing to notice is that, for years, researchers were trying to identify why women were protected from heart disease. In fact, they were not protected by female related factors to the extent that it was assumed. Assumed is the key word here. Researchers assumed that working-class men, in large industries where monotonous routines were the order of the day, could provide the basal model for heart health or its lack. The lives of real women were not examined sufficiently well. They had not had a stake in what was going on; many women have died prematurely because of this. Gender must be taken account of in our work. But, we are only at the beginning of a very long journey towards what this might actually mean. Hence, this topic.


Equity has to do with the stake that you have in some going concern. If you buy a house, when its value is more than you owe on it, you have a stake in the house; you have equity. Equity is about being able to participate in the going concerns in a society. It is not necessarily the case that everyone is equal in all respects. But, in this case, people should have an equal share in contributing to and gaining from the public and private goods of a society regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. This is not an easy area in which to work or think. Many people have very diverse views on many aspects of this topic. The key is to keep an eye on ensuring that everyone has a stake in participation and that exclusion is not based fundamentally on gender. However, this does not mean that there are not times when we should make gender-based distinctions. The anti-discrimination legislation allows for this. Can you think of some times that we might have to discriminate to allow a fair access to resources? If you can, what would be your arguments in favor of this? What would be the basis of your arguments? How could you make a case for funding on the basis? In the past seven years, I have obtained at least $1.5M with my colleagues to support Indigenous male health as the Chair of the only Indigenous male health promotion charity in Australia, Mibbinbah Limited. Movember is a gender-based funding body. BreastScreen Victoria is another. White Ribbon is a male-led campaign to stop violence against women. What key issues do you need to consider? Mohga Kamal Smith (2001:1) argues that:

Gender-sensitive monitoring and evaluation is an essential component of this new agenda. It is a key principle in gender work to question any assumptions that a particular project or programme reaches all members of a community and has a similar impact on all of them.

References and Resources

Smith, M. K. (2001) Enhancing gender equity in health programmes: Monitoring and evaluation. Gender and Development. 9(2):95-105.

Learning Outcomes[edit]

On completion of this topic, through your own investigations, group preparation, tutorial participation and lectorial explorations, you should be able to:

  1. Identify a wide variety of policies that might influence funding availability for programs which recognize the importance of respecting aspirations for gender equity.
  2. Summarise the key principles that can be derived from such documents and discuss how these might be used to underpin an argument supporting gender equality in a variety of settings.
  3. Fashion responses to funding submission criteria that require specific reasons for taking account of gender in terms of health literacy and health education in general.
  4. Show how these responses can be used to justify health literacy and health education programs that are sensitive to gender related issues and concerns in a tertiary setting.