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Equality works, also for the SUN Movement: The Global Health 50/50 2019 Report

  |   SUN Lead Group and Secretariat

The Global Health 50/50 2019 report is a review of gender-related policies and practices of 198 global organisations active in health, with a special focus on gender equality in the workplace. In 2019, the SUN Movement  has emerged as one of 17 high performing organisations on gender equality.

Global Health 50/50 springs from a deep well of frustration that global organisations active in health continue to be afflicted by an insidious case of gender blindness. Sector-wide we have failed to analyse or address the role that gender plays in the distribution of power and privilege, the gendered opportunities and expectations of career advancement, and the gender-driven empowerment of people to realise their right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health and wellbeing.

This year’s report, titled Equality Works,  has focused particularly on the issue of gender equality in the workplace, and has looked at policies for preventing sexual harassment, supporting parental leave and flexible working, and published gender pay gaps, alongside other variables addressing gender equality both internally and operationally in organisations.


“I believe that global health organisations can lead the way towards better wellbeing, by building fairer, more equal workplaces”

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand (from the foreword of the report)

Policies are necessary but insufficient: time to walk the talk

Organisations have been scored based on whether they have gender-responsive policies in place, and some indicators of practice—namely sex-disaggregation of data, reporting gender pay gap and parity in senior management and boards. Such analysis provides a critical initial understanding of whether an organisation has an adequate policy foundation in place to foster a gender-equitable workplace and guide gender-responsive programming.

Looking forward, however, a better understanding of the extent to which (and how) sound gender-responsive policies lead to gender equitable practices and improved health outcomes as well a inclusive, diverse and dignified workplaces is clearly needed in the sector. Experience suggests that enlightened leadership, organised and empowered staff and robust independent monitoring all play a role. Yet more qualitative research is required to understand what works, as is urgent implementation of best practices.


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