About Women in Global Health Norway
Established in 2018, WGH Norway was founded with the values of being a movement leading functions and activities that are relevant to the national context.
WGH Norway Launch, 2018 Photo: Øystein Horgmo, UiO
Women in Global Health Norway (WGH) Norway is initiated by a diverse group of professionals working in global health, from academics to practitioners, with varied global and interdisciplinary backgrounds. This national chapter is committed to gender parity in global health as a priority and committed to increasing the proportion of women in leadership positions in global health. WGH Norway creates a platform for discussion and collaborative space to connect, further strengthen and advocate for gender equality in global health within academia, public and private sectors. It fosters support and commitment from the global community and demands space for Gender Transformative Leadership. The WGH Norway team is composed of a Secretariat, currently hosted by the Centre for Global Health, University of Oslo, an Advisory Group, Special Counselors, and over 300 members.
To ensure a world that values women as leaders in global health and catalysts for better health for all.
To create enabling environments for gender parity and to promote gender-transformative leadership in global health for greater progress in achieving the SDGs and better health for all genders.
What We Want To Do
The overarching aims of WGH Norway include supporting women in global health and mitigating barriers that deter women from leadership roles in global health, nationally and globally. In order to achieve these aims, the initiative will focus on the following objectives:
- Connect and network: WGH Norway will connect individuals from all over the country in a network to increase awareness of gender transformative policies and practices.
- Mobilize and advocate for change: WGH Norway will be a platform to connect, further strengthen, and advocate for gender equality in global health leadership, and share strategies on how to inform leaders of health institutions about implicit gender bias.
- Contribute to capacity development: WGH Norway will partner with a select number of WGH chapters in the Global South, and tailor leadership training and online courses to the members of the Norwegian chapter and its partners.
- Contribute to the SDGs: WGH Norway aims to take a leading role in promoting cross-sectorial partnerships, collaboration, and dialogue among key stakeholders by organizing seminars and webinars about capacity development and strengthening gender equity in human resources in global health.
WGH Norway will have a distinct emphasis on the interplay of especially SDG 3 (good health), 4 (good education), and 5 (gender equality), while advancing the agenda of diverse, gender-balanced leadership.
By 2026 with the assistance and support from the WGH Norway Secretariat, Advisory Group and Special Counselors, WGH Norway will have:
- Enhanced the national awareness of the need for gender equity in global health leadership
- Established a national hub for global health and gender issues
- Ensured larger, stronger, and more representative movements advocating for greater gender equity in global health leadership in partner chapters in the Global South
- Contributed to the global agenda of diverse, gender-balanced global health leadership
- Established itself as a national hub contributing to Agenda 2030 and the SDGs
Strengthening connections within the field of global health in Norway by:
- connecting to a global movement that brings together all genders and backgrounds to achieve gender equality in global health leadership;
- creating a focal point for opportunities for women in global health in Norway;
- supporting selected sister-networks to build capacities for equal opportunities and women in leadership worldwide.
WGH Norway was initiated by Andrea S. Winkler and Ingeborg K. Haavardsson upon invitation from WGH Global in 2018 as the second pilot chapter in the movement (with WGH Germany being the first). It is currently hosted by the Centre for Global Health at the University of Oslo. WGH Norway has been developed alongside a fast-growing global movement and has grown from a small group of 15-20 women to well over 300 members (mid 2020). WGH Norway serves as an independent country chapter in WGH and together, WGH Global and the many WGH chapters make up the Women in Global Health movement. As a national chapter of WGH, the Norwegian network shares the vision of a diverse, gender-balanced leadership, which is key for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In the field of global health governance, women represent 25% of all leadership positions, while constituting 75% of the overall global health workforce. (1) Although Norway is considered to be one of the most gender equal countries in the world, a number of challenges to gender equality and equity remain, and additional gender issues continue to surface. Norway has a unique opportunity and obligation to strive for full gender equality and equity, thereby serving as a model to countries with gross gender inequality. Gender equality is both a goal in its own right and a means to contribute towards healthy lives for all, and it is key to obtaining the SDGs. Gender equality is furthermore regarded as key to poverty reduction and development by the Norwegian government, and it is one of the four cross-cutting pillars of its development policy (the others being human rights, climate and the environment, and anti-corruption).