Working to Advance Health Equity in Africa


Gender Equality and Health

The Gender Equality and Health research area aims to improve women’s health and reduce HIV incidence across Africa. We are adding to the evidence base of “what works” to improve gender equality, realise sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and reduce gender based violence (GBV). SRHR, particularly for young women, remain a significant challenge across Africa. Challenges include: high rates of maternal mortality, particularly among adolescent girls; severely limited access to, and knowledge of, modern contraceptives; high rates of unintended and early pregnancies and unsafe abortions. One in three people in Sub-Saharan Africa are 10-24 years old and face age-specific SRHR challenges. In 2012 over 58% of people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa were women 15-24 years. GBV is a significant concern, with 45% of women in Africa having experienced it first-hand. Research has shown links between intimate partner violence (IPV) and HIV, unplanned pregnancy, depression and high alcohol use. IPV is driven by harmful gender norms and exacerbated by poverty and marginalisation. Early childhood experiences of violence are associated with negative consequences for children, and are linked to future perpetration or experience of violence.

Research area outputs

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