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Gender and health equity interventions in poor regions of China and India: a comparison

Date: Wednesday 31 October 10.45–12.15
Source: Forum 11
Authors: Jing Fang, Board Member, Yunnan Reproductive Health Research Association, People's Republic of China
with Gita Sen


The Gender and Health Equity Network (GHEN), an international partnership of individuals and institutions, has been working over the last six years to demonstrate through applied research the importance of taking gender equity into account in health policy and programming. Two of its major case studies are in very poor districts in China and India.

The objectives of these action-research studies are to use research to: 1) improve policy implementation with respect to gender and health equity in contexts of high or persisting poverty and inequality; and 2) enable communities, and particularly poor women and adolescents, to exercise their rights to good health. The projects are being implemented in contexts where policy commitments to health equity exist, but also where there are difficulties in translating those macro-level commitments into programmes of work at lower levels of government, or practical action on the ground. In particular, using research to support awareness building or capacity strengthening provides both opportunities and challenges within the contexts of poverty and inequality in which the project is working in the two countries. These have significant implications for policy learning and programming scale-up.

This presentation will explore the lessons being learnt through comparison of the tangible, on-the-ground experiences of working on these issues in China and India. Similarities in levels of poverty and inequality are counterposed with differences in the political, policy and knowledge generation/research contexts of health interventions. Comparative analysis of research and implementation lessons in two such similar, yet very different, locales provides a rich basis for mining the lessons learnt from working in such contexts.