BMJ: Gender equality in the global health workplace: learning from a Somalil and UK paired institutional partnership

4 February, 2019


I would be really grateful if you could include the link to this recent open-access study in a future HIFA newsletter!

"Gender equality in the global health workplace: learning from a Somalil and UK paired institutional partnership"

Many thanks!

HIFA profile: Roxanne Keynejad is a final year medical student at King's College, London, United Kingdom. Professional interests: Psychiatry, neurology, neuroscience, women's health, global health, infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, epidemiology and public health, medical education. roxanne.keynejad AT

[*Note from HIFA moderator (Neil PW): For the benefit of those who may not have immediate web access, here are the citation and abstract (the fulltext is open access):

CITATION: Gender equality in the global health workplace: learning from a Somaliland–UK paired institutional partnership

Roxanne C Keynejad1, Fikru Debebe Mekonnen2, Aziza Qabile3, Jibril Ibrahim Moussa Handuleh4, Mariam Abdillahi Dahir5, Mariam Mohamed Haji Rabi6, Cathy Read7, Edna Adan Ismail8

ABSTRACT: Worldwide recognition of gender inequality and discrimination following the #MeToo movement has been slow to reach the field of global health. Although international institutions have begun to address gender, the perspectives of front-line global health workers remain largely undocumented, especially in regions not captured by large-scale surveys. Long-term collaborative relationships between clinicians and educators participating in paired institutional partnerships can foster cross-cultural dialogue about potentially sensitive subjects. King’s Somaliland Partnership (KSP) has linked universities and hospitals in Somaliland and London, UK, for health education and improvement, since 2000. We collaboratively developed an anonymous, mixed methods, online survey to explore workplace experiences among Somaliland and UK-based staff and volunteers. We adapted the Workplace Prejudice/Discrimination Inventory to address gender inequality, alongside qualitative questions. Somaliland (but not UK) women reported significantly more gender prejudice and discrimination than men (medians=43 and 31, z=2.137, p=0.0326). While front-line Somaliland workers described overt gender discrimination more frequently, UK respondents reported subtler disadvantage at systemic levels. This first survey of its kind in Somaliland demonstrates the potential of global health partnerships to meaningfully explore sensitive subjects and identify solutions, involving a range of multidisciplinary stakeholders. We propose priority actions to address pervasive gender inequality and discrimination, including wider engagement of academia with gender-focused research, institutional actions to address barriers, national prioritisation and nurturing of grassroots initiatives, through institutional partnerships and international networks. Without sustained, concerted intervention across all levels, gender inequality will continue to hinder progress towards the vision of good health for all, everywhere.]