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2021: A Year in Review

As 2021 comes to a close, we’re looking back at some of our favorite blog posts from this year across several broad themes. These themes were reflected in our work throughout 2021 and will continue to play a role in our operations and programming going forward. We hope you enjoy revisiting these posts as much as we did.

Sharing our Values and Policies

In June, EngenderHealth President and CEO Traci L. Baird wrote a post announcing our updated organizational values, which are reflection, inclusion, integrity, respect, and transformation. She also wrote about our efforts to increase transparency around our policies by ensuring they are available online. In addition, Traci shared results from our organizational pay gap analysis, which we further reflected on in a post for International Equal Pay Day in September.

Magenta text on a white background "Our goal in establishing our organizational values is twofold: we want our values to help set the organization’s culture of how we do things, and we want to remind ourselves and convey to others what we prioritize and how we make decisions about our work. - Traci L. Baird, EngenderHealth President & CEO

Reconsidering Language

In April, Principal Writer Editor Amy Agarwal wrote about the challenging process of creating EngenderHealth’s language guides on topics in the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) field. In October, she followed up with two additional posts on language. Amy first shared five approaches she recommends to employ inclusive, respectful language. Then, later that month, she co-wrote a post with Liz Futrell, SRHR senior writer for Pathfinder International, about both organizations’ journeys toward reimagining language and communications for global health.

Working to End Fistula

In May, ahead of the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, we shared EngenderHealth’s long history of work in fistula care, which has supported more than 45,000 fistula repairs since 2005. We’re now building upon this work through the USAID-funded MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics project. In September, we highlighted how this program focuses on expanding access to quality surgical obstetric care as a critical component of safe and respectful childbirth. Then, during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), we shared an interview with Dr. Vandana Tripathi, director of MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics, which focused on the importance of integrating GBV screening with health services and fistula care.

White text on a magenta background with a faint graphic of a world map. Text reads "When childbirth is complicated, and surgery is required, it’s essential that we continue to provide respectful care to women and their families, including counseling, informed consent, and debriefing after surgical procedures. - Vandana Tripathi, Director, MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning

Strengthening Youth Engagement

This spring, we shared results from our project in India that aimed to improve the survival of newborn girls in the state of Bihar by engaging Adolescent Girl Champions. Then, over the summer, Ana Aguilera, deputy director for adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health for EngenderHealth, and Pragya Singh, program coordinator for CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, wrote a pair of blog posts about the organizations’ partnership. The two first shared how EngenderHealth engaged CHOICE to improve our ability to work meaningfully with young people across our programming. Then, they later highlighted some key lessons learned from the process. Finally, in September, we also shared how our program, A Rights-Based Approach for Enhancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Ethiopia, is working to improve health equity by engaging with young people in Addis Ababa through a variety of approaches.

White text on a magenta background with an oval orange pattern. Text reads "To ensure that every Ethiopian has a fair and just opportunity to live their healthiest life possible we must reach out to those who are often left behind when It comes to sexual and reproductive health and rights—young people."

Transforming Gender Norms

In April, Malayah Harper, director of SRHR, and Dr. Sunita Singal, deputy country representative and technical director for India, wrote about how EngenderHealth incorporates gender-transformative and inclusive programming in its health systems strengthening work. In June, we highlighted why engaging men and boys to challenge negative notions of masculinity and improve gender equality is a vital part of our approach to preventing and addressing GBV. In November, Tanzania made news when it lifted a ban on adolescent mothers attending school. Country Representative for Tanzania Prudence Masako shared the story of one of her classmates whose education was derailed by the ban and her recommendations for ensuring access to education for all girls in the country.

On the left a photo of a woman in an orange patterned jacket. To her left, white text on a magenta background reads "Lifting this ban is not the end; it is the beginning of a new journey of transformation for our education system and our society. - Prudence Masako, Country Representative for Tanzania, EngenderHealth"

Of course, these posts only capture a snapshot of our work over the past year. We published many other stories covering additional initiatives, challenges, and achievements in 2021, all of which are available on our blog.

Looking ahead to 2022, we remain committed to working with our partners to advance gender equality through sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world. We hope you’ll continue to follow along with us in the new year.