Moving Beyond Gender as Usual

Kim Ashburn
David Wendt
June 29, 2009

Gender inequalities drive the HIV epidemic, increase the burdens of the disease on women and girls, and hinder the effectiveness of the fight against HIV and AIDS. In this analysis, CGD’s HIV/AIDS Monitor argues that despite well-meaning global strategies and policies, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the World Bank’s Africa Multi-Country AIDS Program have not yet been able to turn them into systematic programming that addresses the needs of women and girls.

The authors urge the programs to make a systematic response to gender inequality in HIV/AIDS programs. They recommend that donors, country governments, and relevant stakeholders participate in knowledge sharing and together support a comprehensive national gender analysis. The report also makes the following donor-specific recommendations:



  • Read the HIV/AIDS Monitor background paper on the three donors' global-level committments to and strategies for gender-related programs
  • Read the forthcoming CGD brief summarizing the findings of the report
  • Provide clearer, more detailed guidance on generating and using gender analysis in country operational plans
  • Design gender programs and objectives around countries’ needs, not around global strategic areas or global gender goals
  • Set clear, measurable gender-related indicators and targets to measure progress against country-level gender objectives
  • Ensure that each country office has an expert in programs to address gender inequality and HIV/AIDS
  • Reexamine global-level policies that conflict with stated gender goals

The Global Fund

  • Ensure that Global Fund entities have needed gender expertise
  • Develop gender-related indicators for the Global Fund’s monitoring and evaluation toolkit

The World Bank

  • Ensure that comprehensive gender analysis is used in project design to explicitly respond to gender in all project components
  • Include gender-related indicators and sex-disaggregated data across all programs
  • Take advantage of the World Bank’s abilities to work towards long-term structural change and to encourage stronger national policies on gender and HIV/AIDS

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