In Cambodia, civil war and conflict lasted almost 30 years, from 1970 to 1998. Health workers were among the 3.3 million professionals who were executed during the Khmer Rouge regime (1975- 1979). After the fall of the Khmer Rouge, it is believed that only 40 doctors were left in the country. Now, after a 20-year period of strengthening the health system and developing human resources for health (HRH), over 19,000 people are employed in the health sector in Cambodia. Women make up most of the health workforce, and yet rarely hold senior roles, and have fewer opportunities than men to re-train for new positions. Only one in five leadership positions in the Ministry of Health are held by women. Just 16% of senior health workers (such as doctors) are female, compared to 100% of midwives. This is problematic for several reasons. Women’s concerns, for example, are not reflected in health policies, including HRH strategies. Human resource policies, such as those related to career advancement, do not take into account women’s life course events, such as childbearing and childcare. And, finally, in a country where most women prefer to be cared for by female health workers, the shortage of female doctors limits women’s access to health services. Research on gender equity in human resource management for health in post-conflict settings is limited. To fill the gap in the evidence base, ReBUILD and RinGs, carried out qualitative research in Battambang province, Cambodia.
The ReBUILD Consortium was formed in 2011 and is a Research Programme Consortium funded by the UK Department for International Development. Partners in the UK, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Cambodia and Zimbabwe have come together to explore different approaches to health system development in countries that have been affected by political and social conflict. Decisions made […]
This brief examines the reform of health systems in post-conflict settings through a gender lens, using the World Health Organization’s health system building blocks as a framework. Research into the importance of reconstructing health systems after a crisis or war is relatively new, therefore literature discussing challenges and best practices related to gender equity is weak and the evidence base limited. Further study is clearly needed into the impact of strengthening the health system on gender equity.
This policy brief looks at the context of gender and health, and how they are affected by conflict. It also assesses whether humanitarian assistance in the immediate post- conflict period addresses the impact of conflict on health from a gender perspective. A second sister brief examines long-term reform of the health system through a gender lens, using the World Health Organization’s health system building blocks as a framework.
The Living Peace four year project is being implemented in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a country where conflict has led to millions of deaths, mass displacement, and many victims and perpetrators of violence. In addition, DRC exhibits a prevalence of highly inequitable, violent partner relationships driven by childhood experiences of violence, gender inequitable beliefs, power inequalities, economic stress and insufficient coping mechanisms around post-conflict trauma. Living Peace provides psychosocial support through
group therapy for men (and their partners) to reduce
sexual and gender based violence, promote healing,
restore relationships and rebuild communities in postconflict
settings. The aim of the work is to break the cycle
whereby traumatised men inflict further violence on their
partners and communities, and instead move towards
more peaceful coping strategies and gender equality.