Online Program

Improving girls' health through gender integrated health promotion interventions: The Philadelphia ujima experience

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Candace Robertson-James, DrPH, Office of Urban Health Equity, Education and Research, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Ana Nunez, MD, Women's Health Education Program, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Serita Reels, MPH, Women's Health Education Program, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Sex and gender disparities in health continue to persist. Gender is an important social determinant of health because it influences social roles, responsibilities, norms and access to resources. However, a critical assessment of the role of gender in health is often omitted from many studies, undermining women and girls' health promotion efforts. The Philadelphia Ujima Coalition for a Healthier Community funded by the Office on Women's Health, employs a gender integrated health promotion school based intervention focusing on nutrition, sexual health and healthy relationships in high schools students. The intervention uses a gender analysis framework to assess understanding of the role of gender in health and promotes behavior change. Methods: A quasi experimental design was used in which intervention groups (2 schools) received a 10 hour health promotion workshop series on targeted objective areas and were compared with a control group (1 school) not receiving the intervention. Baseline and post intervention questionnaires were completed. Results: Sex differences exist in attitudes and behaviors associated with accessing care, nutrition and eating practices, sexual health and healthy relationships. Intervention participants have an increased understanding of the role of gender norms and expectations in their health behaviors. There were also observed changes in their perceptions of personal attributes associated with masculinity and femininity. Conclusions: Health promotion interventions must consider the role of gender in disparate health outcomes and integrate attention to gender in programming for girls. Important lessons learned were identified to enhance assessment and inclusion of gender in youth health promotion programming globally.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify effective strategies for including a gender analysis framework in to health promotion programming for girls. Describe a youth focused health promotion intervention utilizing a gender analysis framework. Identify key lessons learned and best practices for assessment and implementation of gender integrated health promotion programming for girls globally.

Keyword(s): Health Promotion, Gender

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the project director and am intimately involved with the program planning, implementation and evaluation activities for the program described in this abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.