We know that when women have the opportunity to participate in decisions over their health and household finances, they make decisions that benefit the health of their children and contribute to the welfare of their families. That is why, for more than 45 years, we have worked to put women at the center of health and development.

Jhpiego has helped women claim their power through education, skills building and access to high-quality health services. But we know barriers in health run deep, and gender inequality undermines the effectiveness of health care at every level. Health systems still have far to go to foster equity and allow women to thrive as powerful care providers and agents of their families’ health.

We also know that harmful gender norms hurt everyone—men and women, old and young, across countries and cultures. Educating men on the importance and impact of gender equity and engaging them in activities for and with their spouses can lead to partnerships for health at the most intimate level of care. That is just the beginning.

Jhpiego works to institutionalize and scale gender-equitable norms and behaviors that facilitate healthy decisions in
relationships, households, communities and health institutions. We must continue to invest in longer-term strategies to promote gender equality, ensuring that women have the agency to access care, however near or far the services.

Bringing preventive, skilled care closer to where women and families live offers countries the opportunity to reach every person with genderresponsive, high-quality care and treatment on the path to universal health coverage. Jhpiego’s commitment to go the last mile will lead to healthier families, communities and, surely, countries. Through community-based health workers, nurses, midwives, doctors and others, we can deliver high-quality health services to prevent disease, manage debilitating conditions, treat life-threatening illnesses and reserve hospitals for those in need of truly specialized care.

Primary health care allows individuals to take charge of their health and provides governments a path forward to make equality, health for all and the Sustainable Development Goals a reality. That’s the world we envision every day.