Do we need a feminist global health policy to spur women’s health innovation? Part 1: Gender biases in Research & Development

Day 3- Current Challenge 1

Day2 Migration – CC 1

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

09:00 am - 10:30 pm

Event description

In the realm of global health policy and research, persistent and historical gender biases continue to permeate a largely patriarchal ecosystem. These biases result in the oversight of crucial gender dimensions and disadvantage women’s health, hindering adequate investment and innovation tailored to address women’s unique and diverse health needs.

Despite growing awareness of these biases and increased efforts by civil society, academia, and the philanthropic sector (such as the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research, and the Women’s Health Innovation Opportunity Map by NIH and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) to spur gender responsive and inclusive research and innovation to advance women’s health, progress remains slow and fragmented.

In two sessions, we will delve into the landscape of women’s health research and development (R&D), examining the existing barriers and disparities through a gender lens. Our conversation aims to connect the dots between persistent gender biases in research and the transformative potential of a feminist global health policy (FGHP). By shining a spotlight on the barriers and obstacles in advancing women’s health R&D, we seek to explore whether a FGHP holds the potential to accelerate the discovery and enhance the accessibility of new innovations, crucial to interrupting the prevailing health inequities, particularly those that disproportionately affect women.

Part 1 ‘Gender biases in Research & Development’ aims to explore whether a feminist global health policy (FGHP) is the transformative force needed to disrupt and reconstruct a new global health ecosystem to propel gender equality, address health inequities, and accelerate efforts towards social justice.

Our distinguished panel will shed light on lessons learned from the application of feminist foreign policies, exploring promises and pitfalls of these efforts. The discussion will also include valuable recommendations to spur innovation and advance women’s health in all its diversities.

The objectives of this session :

  • Examine gender-related barriers and gender disparities in women’s health research and development, identifying challenges hindering innovation.
  • Explore the potential impact of a Feminist Global Health Policy in accelerating the discovery and accessibility of innovative solutions to address health inequities for women.


Speakers will be announced soon

Shirin Heidari

Switzerland, Moderator

Anna Coates

Switzerland, Speaker
World Health Organization

Montasser Kamal

Canada, Speaker International Development Research Centre

Andrea Lucard

Switzerland, Speaker Medicines for Malaria Venture

Notes to participants


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Geneva Health Forum

About the Geneva Health Forum

Established in 2006 by the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) and the University of Geneva (UNIGE), the Geneva Health Forum (GHF) is a Swiss not-for-profit initiative that brings together a diverse range of stakeholders to discuss and address global health challenges.

The GHF plays a pivotal role in the global health landscape, as a neutral and inclusive platform, fostering dialogue and collaboration among key players in the field, including policymakers, representatives from academia, civil society, and the private sector.

Its core mission is to facilitate constructive dialogue among these global health actors, which, in turn, contributes to the improvement of health policies and access to care worldwide. The Geneva Health Forum proudly collaborates with some of the most prominent international organizations based in Geneva.