For four decades, Management Sciences for Health has promoted gender equality in development in more than 135 countries. Through MSH’s health systems strengthening framework, it is helping governments realize their obligation to fulfill the right to health and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We apply gender-sensitive strategies throughout our programs and recognize that improved health outcomes are dependent on equal realization of dignity and human rights for all.

In many parts of the world women and men do not have equal access to health care services and resources. The US Global Health Initiative, along with major international policy makers and institutions acknowledge that gender inequity affects the overall health of women because of their biological vulnerabilities, their lack of access to information and resources and finally their inability to make independent decisions about their own health or their families and communities.

MSH works at the policy, individual, community, and institutional levels to promote equity and equality, which constitute the following:

  • Gender equity is the process of being fair to women and men by compensating for historical and social disadvantages that prevent them from operating on a level playing field.
  • Gender equality permits women and men equal enjoyment of human rights, socially valued goods, opportunities, and resources.

Therefore equity is the means, while equality is the result of equitable policies, programs, institutions, and distribution of resources.