International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on Sunday 8thMarch and this year the theme is “Make it Happen” to ensure effective action for advancing and recognising women. Thousands of events will happen across the globe to mark and celebrate women’s economic, political and social achievements.
In LSTM we celebrated early on March 6th with a joint event hosted by the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health (CMNH) and the Gender and Health Group. The event was held in the newly opened Wolfson building. Jaki Lambert, from CMNH kicked off the proceedings. She outlined approaches from their own Making it Happen Programme and gave a brief description on the other research projects CMNH are currently involved in. She also spoke about how the focus of research is changing as we head into 2016 and will highlight the human right issues that are inevitable when dealing with reproductive health.
Sally Theobald and Esther Richards, highlighted current research partnerships on gender and health giving insights from the following projects: MATIND, INPAC, ReBUILD, REACHOUT, COUNTDOWN and RinGS. They highlighted the importance of considering women’s health needs across the life cycle: from pregnancy to birth, to girlhood, adolescence, womanhood and old age. Drawing on insights from different projects they also argued that promoting gender equity and women’s rights requires action on gender across the whole health system – including the understanding and addressing the specific vulnerabilities of women and men, promoting the role of close to community providers and addressing gender in human resources for health, health financing, and inter-sectoral action.
Rachel Tolhurst & Minaskshi Bhardwaj, both also from LSTM’s Gender and Health Group closed the event with an ‘Update on Athena SWAN’. LSTM has been awarded a bronze Athena SWAN at institutional level, applications from the deaneries are under consideration and current actions including improving monitoring, transparency of promotion processes, piloting mentoring, supporting maternity cover and return to work from maternity leave were discussed.
At the end of the presentations both CMNH and the Gender and Health Group spoke about working more collaboratively together as many of their research topics have cross cutting themes.
Celebrating women’s achievements and promoting women’s’ health and gender equity are central to LSTM’s mission.