Gender Sensitive ODA Research: Tips and Tools

Cover of Gender Sensitive DOA Research Slides

At the end of May, GENDER.ED ran an online information session ‘Gender Sensitive ODA Research: Tips and Tools’ for researchers at the Usher institute, the applied and translational arm of the Edinburgh Medical School, within the college of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.

The event was chaired by Prof Martyn Pickersgill, Co-Director of Research at the Usher Institute and attended by 20 global health researchers with backgrounds ranging from facial surgery, to medical informatics and medical sociology. The event was a part of GENDER.ED’s on-going project Integrating Gender into GCRF Bids and Projects (PI Prof Fiona Mackay; Project Lead Dr Rosalind Cavaghan).

Taking gender into account in global health research is a really important ethical consideration and is quite rightly an increasing focus for research funders. These will tools will really help us to develop our practice and start conversations on this theme across health-related disciplines.

Prof Martyn Pickersgill, Co-Director of Research, Usher Institute

Dr Rosalind Cavaghan presented on two themes:

  1. How approaches to gender sensitive interventions have evolved in the international development sector has over the last 30 years
  2. How insights from this practitioner community have been translated into GENDER.ED’s tools for researchers in higher education.

Dr Aoife McKenna, a postdoctoral assistant on the project, presented a brief overview of how these insights specifically apply in global health research. Themes covered the role of gender in social determinants of health and how these interact with biological sex. Case studies included examples of how gender specific cultural norms and inequalities in resources affect vulnerability to non-communicable and infectious disease and how gender structures both roles and responsibilities in health care systems, and methods of service delivery.

The event was warmly received by participants and the project team are now exploring research collaborations focused on gender hierarchies in research teams and clinical settings, with a view to publishing co-authored outputs in relevant disciplinary outlets.

Gender hierarchies are indeed relevant in clinical settings and can even affect patient safety (for example in the operating theatre). I love the idea of using genderEd’s materials to start a discussion with colleagues.

Dr Felicity Vidya Mehendale, Surgeon and Senior Lecturer, Global Cleft Lip and Palate Research Programme Lead, Usher Institute.

“Really useful session! As always, I learned a lot from hearing from GenderED!”

Dr Dominique Balharry, Global Respiratory Health Research Manager, NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health, Usher Institute.

You can find many of the tools and guidance that the genderEd team have created, including a briefing on how gender is relevant to global health research here and see a PDF of the slides of the information session here.