Nursing Now challenges existing global health workforce narrative

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO), Global Health Workforce Network and Women in Global Health (WGH) launched Global Health: Delivered by Women, Led by Men, a gender & equity analysis on the global health workforce. High-level international stakeholders gathered at the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to discuss this report. One of Nursing Now’s Young Nurse representatives and Campaign Board Member, Sarah Walji, was invited to participate in a panel discussion about the key messages and recommendations provided in the report.

During the panel discussion, several topics were addressed, namely the emerging collective movement which seeks to change the current global health workforce narrative, and recognize women, especially within leadership and in senior level positions.

Panel members also reviewed issues within the existing systems which allow for violence and harassment to occur. Panellists stressed the importance of holding organizations and systems accountable for inequalities against health and social care workers.

The panel made several recommendations to close the gender gap within global health including:

  • Implementation of protocols on violence and harassment with rigorous follow up procedures
  • Education on sexual misconduct
  • Establishment of safe spaces to encourage affected nurses to report their experiences.  

The session ended with Roopa Dhatt, Executive Director of WGH noting that, “Women are the drivers of health.” She addressed the need for increased female participation in higher paid roles in order to facilitate the necessary shift to gender transformative policy implementation.

Nursing Now is working with Johnson & Johnson and Intrahealth to examine gender as it relates to perceptions of nurses, and of nurses in leadership positions; nurses’ experience with discrimination and harassment; as well as challenges and barriers nurses face in moving into positions of leadership. The recommendations and report from this joint work will be launched at the Women Deliver Conference, Vancouver June 2019.

For more information on Nursing Now’s global activities, click here.