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Vital Stories

Advancing Equity: Improving Population Health through Gender Mainstreaming in Policy

Accurate, inclusive data, especially on gender, is fundamental to creating robust, effective health policies. By analyzing routine health data with a gender lens, public health advocates and policymakers can better understand and prioritize health needs, mitigating the challenge of homogenized data. The next crucial step is gender mainstreaming–a strategic approach that integrates gender in all aspects of health policy planning, implementation, and evaluation. It is a process that addresses the unique health needs and experiences of both men and women, while recognizing the biological, social, economic, and cultural factors that also contribute to health disparities. 

In an effort to foster greater regional collaboration and knowledge sharing, Vital Strategies hosted a panel event, ‘Advancing Equity: Improving Population Health through Gender Mainstreaming in Policy’ in New Delhi on October 20, 2023. Panelists included gender and public health experts from UN agencies, INGOs, academia, and government representatives from the Philippines and Sri Lanka. 

Experts offered insights into the role of data in planning and creating equitable and inclusive health policies, as well as country-specific challenges and lessons learned. They also shared program and research perspectives, and ways to apply a gender lens throughout the health policy cycle from planning, implementation, and advocacy to resource allocation.


  • Ms. Kanta Singh, UN Women
  • Dr. Vindya Kumarapeli, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka
  • Dr. Adriel Pizarra, Department of Health, Philippines
  • Dr. Michelle Kaufman, Gender Equity Unit, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Ms. Chloe Harvey, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)
  • Dr. Ravi Verma, International Center for Research on Women

The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Ruxana Jina, Director of Data Impact, Vital Strategies. The opening & closing remarks were delivered by LM Singh, Managing Director, Vital Strategies India.