Blouin News sat down with Christine Sow, President and Executive Director of the Global Health Council, to discuss the state of global health and in particular the challenges facing women around the world. Sow stressed that women face health challenges every day, be they related to reproductive health, children’s health, or the health of elderly family members. She notes, “Women tend to be the workers, they tend to be the people who take care of kids, take care of family members, take care of elders at home.”
In addition to the day-to-day health challenges faced by millions of women worldwide, they are seriously underrepresented at the institutional decision-making and leadership level. Indeed, as Sow notes, while women are nurses, doctors, technicians, etc., their visibility at high-level events and in the media is limited, giving an incorrect view of who makes up the global health field.
The Global Health Council is working to change that, notably through their Women Leaders in Global Health (WLGHI) initiative (#ileadGH). Created in response to the question “Why aren’t there more women represented in the highest levels of global health and what can we do about it?” WLGHI is working to ensure female leaders in global health are both recognized and supported. Despite the challenges, Sow is optimistic, though she adds, there’s “lots of work to be done.”