Ann Keeling: Female healthcare workers need to be seen as “assets and not volunteers”

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Katherine is joined by Ann Keeling, Senior Fellow with Women in Global Health and lead author of WGH’s new policy brief, Subsidizing Global Health: Women’s Unpaid Work in Health Systems. Neglecting to pay women appropriately for their contributions to the global health workforce is not new. In 2015, the Lancet Commission on Women and Health estimated that women contribute $3 trillion to global health activities every year but that at least half of that labor is unpaid, with negative implications for women’s professional opportunities in the long term. Katherine and Ann discuss why women take on more underpaid or unpaid positions than men; how the stresses of the pandemic have created even greater challenges for this cadre of unpaid workers; and how making greater investments in female health workers could positively impact the quality of care they are able to provide. What happens when women in the global health workforce aren’t paid or supported appropriately? And what key indicators can be used to ensure progress is being made in making the global health workforce more gender equitable?

Ann Keeling, WGH Senior Fellow, is a British citizen whose 40-year career in global health and social development has included posts in Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, the Caribbean, Belgium, the USA, and her home country, the UK. She held the post of Head of Gender Equality Policy with the UK Government and is currently the Chair of the NGO Age International.
Katherine E. Bliss
Senior Fellow and Director, Immunizations and Health Systems Resilience, Global Health Policy Center