Women in Global Health Norway
The Centre for Global Health at UiO is establishing a national chapter of the global movement Women in Global Health to become a platform to connect, further strengthen and advocate for gender equality in global health within academia, public and private sectors.
Photo: Women in Global Health
Norway’s reputation for women leaders is well established, from current Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, to the legacy of Gro Harlem Brundtland who held positions as Prime Minister and Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Similarly, Norway demonstrates an ongoing political commitment to Global Health. This includes contributing technically and financially to key Global Health institutions such as WHO, GAVI, and influencers such as the Gates Foundation. While Norway demonstrates a high acceptance of women in leadership roles, women remain underrepresented in high-level positions worldwide. According to The 2017 World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, the Nordic countries are leading in terms of closing the gender gap, with Iceland (87%), Finland (83%) and Norway (82%) among the top three, and Sweden (81%) and Denmark (78%) following closely.
Gender equality in global health leadership
Significant gender disparities are observed in career choices, such that women account for up to 75% of the health workforce in many countries. However, this is not representative among the leadership of global health institutions. At present, only 27% of ministers of health worldwide are women, and men outnumber women on the boards of global health partnerships by 2-1.
Much work is still needed to reach gender parity in leadership across high-level positions in Global Health, academia, non-governmental institutions and private sector institutions related to global health.
The aim of ‘Women in Global Health Norway (WGH Norway)’ is to strengthen the position of human resources in global health and to connect and advocate for gender equality within UN organizations, aid and development agencies, academia, public and private sectors. WGH Norway serves as an independent country chapter in the Women in Global Health (WGH), a global movement that brings together people of all genders and backgrounds to achieve gender equality in global health leadership.
WGH Norway will work for the right to attain equal levels of female participation in leadership and decision-making related to Global Health, in all levels of society. As the national chapter of WGH, the network shares the vision of a diverse, gender balanced leadership, which is key for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The WGH Norway will be a hosted platform by the Centre for Global Health at University of Oslo (CGH).
Women in Global Health Norway
The Vision of WGH Norway is equal gender representation in leadership within Global Health.
Our Mission is to build momentum, create enabling environments for gender parity and promote gender-transformative leadership in Global Health for sustainable and equitable Global Health.The primary objectives for WGH Norway are to create spaces for women in Global Health to achieve their leadership potential, to increase the visibility of women in the global health network and beyond and to extend the network opportunities. It will serve as an easy reference for these women to be taken into consideration for leadership positions, decision-making bodies, and conferences.
Who we are
WGH Norway is initiated by a diverse group of women working in global health, from academics to practitioners, with varied global and interdisciplinary backgrounds. This 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 for leadership and facilitates specific education and training. It fosters support and commitment from the global community, and demands space for Gender Transformative Leadership.
What we want to do
The primary objectives for WGH Norway are to create space for women in Global Health to achieve their leadership potential, and break the barriers for women to taking on leadership roles in Global Health, nationally and globally.
In order to achieve these objectives, the initiative will focus on the following goals:
- academia, the NGO sector, the governmental sector and the private sector within Global Health in Norway;
- WGH Norway to the global WGH community;
- WGH Norway closely to its sister chapters in Scandinavia;
- WGH Norway to the Global Health community at large nationally and internationally.
- to enable effective exchange of experience and know-how;
- to ensure mentors are linked to mentees;
- to serve as an easy reference for women to be taken into consideration for leadership positions, decision-making bodies, and conferences;
through WGH events and activities.
- for strengthening equal opportunities and facilitate women’s participation in global health leadership; nationally and world-wide;
- for addressing the need for gender equality in global health leadership nationally and internationally;
- for interests and needs of our selected sister-networks in the Global South.
How we work
Strengthening connections within the field of Global Health in Norway:
- facilitate a network of women who share an interest in global health;
- establish a human resource base for sharing job and collaborative opportunities;
- create a focal point for opportunities for women in global health in Norway;
- organise events for networking between our members, the Global Health community at large and other partners in Norway;
- provide mentorship opportunities on an individual level;
- support selected sister-networks to build capacities for equal opportunities and women in leadership worldwide.