Where is HER voice in the Global Fund’s next Executive Director?

This article was published on the Web site of Women in Global Health This article was written by Kelly Thompson, Ann Keeling, Roopa Dhatt and Caity Jackson of Women in Global Health . Founded in 2015, Women in Global Health (1945-19008) was founded with the values ​​of being a movement. The WGH works with other global health organizations to encourage stakeholders from governments, civil society, foundations, academia, and professional associations and the private sector to achieve gender equality in the workplace. global leadership in health.

** Update: The original version of this blog included data points from 2008 and early 2017. The graph has been updated to reflect the most recent data from the GFATM Secretariat.

The Courtesy of Computer Graphics: Women in Global Health

Last Tuesday, without too much fanfare, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) bluntly announced the 4 preselected candidates for his next executive director (ED). Unlike recent attempts by the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop a more transparent and open process for the selection of their general manager, the GFATM process has been surrounded by secrets. The first attempt to select his ED, which was to replace Dr. Mark Dybul, who resigned in May, was abruptly interrupted. With rumors swirling and one of the candidates, Helen Clark, suddenly withdrawing her candidacy, the GFATM Board of Directors noted that because of problems encountered in the recruitment process, they were going to lead this turn to a conclusion and recommence the process (] 1 ). In this new round, 3 men and 1 woman were screened, also returning to the WHO elections where gender parity was not reached in the final candidates. There is also a striking lack of geographic diversity among the final candidates, two of them coming from the United Kingdom and one from the United States and Tanzania.

In a way, we should not be surprised that the short list is dominated by men, all the previous CEOs were men, with the exception of Dr. Marijke Wijnroks, who currently serves as ED. But since women constitute the majority of the workforce in the health sectors covered by GFATM, it is surprising that the short list is not 3 women and 1 man or at least 50/50 women and men. While waiting for the second round, the names of some of the world's leading women's health have been circulating as in the race. Talented women are here and we should be surprised that the final list is not balanced. It goes without saying that whoever is selected, regardless of gender, must have a good understanding of the gender interaction within the three diseases and how to apply a gender transformation approach to their leadership.

The GFATM's own 2017 report notes the variety of ways in which the three diseases are sexed ( 2 ). Some key examples include, in some parts of Africa, young women (15-24 years old) are eight times more likely than young men to live with HIV, and in the most affected countries, 80% of new HIV infections are among teenage girls. These same teenage girls are also more likely to be affected by tuberculosis. While malaria significantly affects pregnant women and children under 5, in some areas, such as the Mekong, malaria has a significant impact on men, who make up the migrant and mobile population. The GFATM has adjusted its funding and programming to reflect these gender needs, with 60% of current investments targeted at women and girls, and the announcement of the launch of the HER Voice fund in November 2017. However, as the note Hawkes, et al there are still significant gaps in the transformation of this policy into reality and often "too few grant agreements specify, fund or control gender-sensitive or transformative activities" ( 3 ).

We urge the Council to give priority to these considerations in the selection of the DG:

1) Strong development context and connection to the reality of GFATM's work context.
2) A strong commitment to gender equality is essential to achieving the work of GFATM and the Universal Health Coverage (19459030). GFATM reform, including the promotion of leadership diversity.
4) Commitment to partnerships and building / engagement of civil society, especially in Southern countries.

In closing, we ask all DE candidates, how will you approach gender equality in the Global Fund?

(1) Zarocostas, John. Controversy hinders the selection of the new head of the Global Fund, The Lancet, volume 389, number 10072, e3

(2) 2017 Results Report. The Global Fund. https://www.theglobalfund.org/media/6773/corporate_2017resultsreport_report_en.pdf

(3) Hawkes, Sarah. Blind sex? An analysis of global public-private partnerships for health. Globalization and Health 201713: 26

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