IGWG Gender and Health Toolkit

The IGWG Gender and Health Toolkit is a unique compilation of practical resources for gender integration and mainstreaming in health policies, programs and institutions. It is designed as a companion to the IGWG website, a premier site for gender and reproductive health information, publications and networking.

Gender integration refers to strategies applied during program planning, assessment, design, implementation and in monitoring and evaluation to consider gender norms and to compensate for gender-based inequalities. Gender mainstreaming is the process of incorporating a gender perspective into the policies, strategies, programs, project activities, administrative functions and the institutional culture of an organization so that institutional practices promote greater equality between men and women.1,2

Increasing evidence demonstrates that attention to gender equality in policies and programs helps to reduce unmet need for contraception, HIV transmission, violence against women, and maternal and neonatal mortality. Promoting gender equality also increases access to health information and services and improves the engagement of both women and men in their own health and that of their families. Although most governments and donor organizations recognize that promoting gender equality is critical to achieving effective and sustainable health care, many lack the skills and know-how to address gender in health policies, programs and systems.

The tools offered here are instruments or methodologies that help users to collect and analyze information on gender roles, identities and relations and apply this information to make programs and health systems more equitable and effective. These tools are designed to move health practitioners, program managers and policy makers from awareness and commitment to direct application and practice. Key documents on programmatic evidence are included as essential references about the effect of gender integration on program outcomes and health. These documents can also be used as tools for advocacy.

Click on the thematic tabs to the right to browse information on each topic. Click on the document links to open or download a resource to your computer. Most of the tools in the Toolkit are located under multiple tabs so users can access resources through different entry points, depending on their interests. The subheadings under each main tab are arranged in alphabetical order, and the resources within each subheading are arranged by publication date, with the most recent first.

The IGWG Gender and Health Toolkit is intended to be interactive: a feedback form allows users to send comments and to suggest the inclusion of other resources.


1. Caro D. A manual for integrating gender into reproductive health and HIV programs: from commitment to action. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau, USAID IGWG; 2009. Available from:

2. World Health Organization. Strategy for integrating gender analysis and actions into the work of WHO. Geneva: WHO,2009. Available from: https://www.who.int/gender/documents/gender/9789241597708/en/ 


Are You…?

You can use the Gender and Health Toolkit to…

A gender focal person

A program manager

A policy maker

A donor


Toolkit last updated: September 21, 2012