Strengthening Health Outcomes for Women and Girls
Every day, over 800 women and girls die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Tackling gender inequality would improve the overall health of women and girls around the world and result in fewer deaths. Our work to make sexual and reproductive health and rights education and services more accessible and tackling the root causes of gender inequality helps women and girls make informed decisions about their bodies and the health of their children.
Explore this six-part multimedia series by scrolling through the content below to learn more about how this gender transformative* Gender transformative projects have an explicit rights-based intention to transform unequal gender power relations which are often at the heart of many disadvantages faced by women and girls; the focus goes beyond improving the condition of women and girls to improve their social position. Gender transformative projects address the root causes of gender inequality and promote the value of women and girls health project is helping entire communities champion women and adolescent girls’ health while moving the needle on gender equality.
for women & girls
This innovative health partnership underscores our mission to tackle the root causes of gender inequality.
Chief Programs Officer
Plan International Canada
Community leaders and government partners were directly involved in every aspect of Show.
LAMB, SHOW PROJECT PARTNER
SHOW threw open the windows and brought in a big breath of fresh air. The approach and change were revolutionary.
Aminata Traore Seck
Ministry of Education
These changes in health outcomes after a relatively short period demonstrate the promise of a gender-transformative approach.
director, Gender Equality
plan international canada
“We integrated gender equality into SHOW activities from start to finish,” says Saadya Hamdani, Director of Gender Equality at Plan International Canada. “As a result, we see changes in women’s community leadership and the ways men both support women at home and to seek the health services they need. This is very exciting.”
These are difficult changes to make. “Post-natal care is one of the hardest areas to improve and also one of the most important, as this is when we lose new mothers to severe bleeding and infections,” says Dr. Mirza. “The overall improvement of 15 percentage points in post-natal care is brilliant. This suggests a real decline in maternal mortality.”
“Priorities for the Government of Canada's international assistance include helping to reduce maternal and child mortality and ensuring sexual and reproductive health services for all who need them,” says Caroline Leclerc, Assistant Deputy Minister, Partnerships for Development Innovation at Global Affairs Canada. “The SHOW project has delivered on these priorities for the most vulnerable women, adolescent girls and children, in remote, underserved regions.”
SHOW starts with community
Communities are at the heart of Plan International’s work. They are where lasting change happens. Women and girls should take charge of their health and lives. Men should actively support them and promote gender equality. And health centres in communities should be well-equipped, and served by professional staff who are skilled to serve the unique needs of women, men, adolescent girls and boys.
To achieve this, we worked with communities to strengthen women and girls’ agency and networks, engaged husbands, partners and traditional and religious leaders, trained hundreds of health workers and community volunteers, and supported health centres so they were easier to access and staffed with skilled professionals who could provide gender responsive and adolescent friendly health services for girls and pregnant women, including access to family planning.
“There were three important areas to strengthen in SHOW communities,” says Chris Armstrong.
“First, the women and girls of the community should be empowered to demand health services, with full support from their partners, husbands and fathers.
Second, the supply of trained health workers, community volunteers, and equipped health centres have to meet that demand.
And third, we wanted partners, and the health centres to be accountable to the community and individuals – to share data that helped everyone measure progress or make changes.”
All programming was designed through a gender-transformative lens, aiming to tackle the root causes of gender inequality and reshape unequal power relationships.
The fourth area of the SHOW strategy focuses on Canada. At Plan International, we want to showcase how the Government of Canada is investing in bold programming to improve maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and sexual and reproductive health and rights. You can learn more about the Public Engagement work here.
Read more of this series to delve into the ways Plan International implemented the SHOW project, working with governments, local partners and communities to improve women and children's health.
Click the links below to read more about Plan International and the show project.
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