Robyn Norton, Principal Director of The George Institute for Global Health, speaks at CSW63. © Dora Madariaga/NCDAlliance

CSW63: call to ensure a gender lens on universal health coverage packages

25th March 2019

The UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63), held from 11-22 March at UN Headquarters in New York, concluded it's 63rd session last Friday, adopting agreed conclusions after intense negotiations. Discussions focused on social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and the agreed resolution. 

Over the two week session, many side events related to health were convened, including an event on Tuesday 19 March, co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of Uruguay and Thailand, WHO, NCD Alliance, the Women & NCDs Taskforce, and The George Institute. The event discussed UHC as a social protection system for women and girls, and the need for a focus on NCDs and their risk factors. 

"UHC is an important social protection system that can improve the health and well-being of women and girls by maximising opportunities for integration in health systems, covering populations, and covering costs." Priya Kanayson, Senior Advocacy Officer, NCD Alliance

All panelists spoke of the need for political will at the highest level to implement UHC, and to ensure that national packages have a gender lens so that no-one is left behind. Ahead of the first UN High-Level Meeting on universal health coverage, this event highlighted how ensuring all people have access to health, live in health-promoting environments, and are free from catastrophic expenditure on health care can result in stronger societies and economies, and better health and economic outcomes for women and girls.