What is The Lancet Commission on Gender and Global Health?

A Lancet Commission brings together global, multidisciplinary and diverse stakeholders in order to respond to an urgent health predicament.

Typically lasting 2-3 years, Lancet Commissions bring together a group of experts and advocates from multi-disciplines and sectors to develop a novel, transformational response to a burning or neglected area of global health, culminating in a report published in The Lancet that includes recommendations for key stakeholders and calls for sustained action and change.

The Lancet Commission on Gender and Global Health responds to the pressing need for substantial, structural, and system-wide change if we are to see considerable progress on gender equality and health equity by 2030. Read our Lancet comment here.

The Commission, led by two Co-Chairs and 16 Commissioners, is grounded in a strong belief that evidence alone is not enough to catalyse change. Over two years, the Commission is mobilising individuals and institutions with a multidisciplinary approach that focuses on research, evidence, advocacy, public engagement, and outputs spanning multiple mediums.

The Commission’s work is guided by a shared concern that a feminist, intersectional, decolonial, and political approach is needed to achieve transformative change.

The Commission’s work is geared towards producing a new, disruptive, evidence-informed manifesto for action and accountability. It will provide a roadmap for action across different communities worldwide to achieve the shared goals of gender equality and health equity.

Why a Commission on Gender and Global Health?

Improving health and wellbeing requires addressing gender norms and the advancement of gender equality. Decision makers in the global health system have been aware of the relation between gender and health for decades. Gender interacts with, and frequently amplifies, other inequalities in shaping our entire life experience, impacting on the health, wellbeing, and opportunities of women and girls, men and boys, transgender people, and people with non-binary identities everywhere.

Yet despite ample commitments and scholarship on the subject, it remains markedly absent in action or accountability plans. With the lack of a clear roadmap for where we want to get to and how to get there, progress on achieving both gender equality and health equity is stalling.

The Commission will provide a
disruptive manifesto for action
for use by audiences and stakeholders around the world.

Tackling the status quo from within the status quo:
an inherent contradiction?

Through both the lifecycle of the Commission and in the final report, the LCGGH strives to contribute to the ongoing decolonisation of a field historically centred within the ‘Global North’ and shaped by a history of colonialism and continued neocolonial knowledge production. Yet the LCGGH is partnering with one of the most prestigious ‘Global North’ institutions in medical and global health research, The Lancet. The Commission recognises the contradiction (and opportunity) of working in part within the very structures, systems and norms that it seeks to transform.

The Co-Chairs and Commissioners are aware of this tension. We seek to harness the positioning of the Commission within the ‘ivory tower’ of knowledge production and utilise the power and reach this partnership offers. The Commission will seek to simultaneously push at the boundaries of what constitutes evidence, knowledge, and scholarship in order to diversify the voices, disciplines and perspectives that feed into its work and to challenge the orthodoxy.

Find out more about the people shaping the Commission's work

Our People Our Public Engagement Approach