The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Act to End Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) | West program is conducting a two-phased gender analysis to determine how NTDs differentially impact various populations; how gender norms and power differentials might impact NTD program results and how the program can help advance gender equality. Phase one of the gender analysis is limited to a literature review, drawing on published and grey literature, as well as an initial analysis of available quantitative data.
The phase one analysis found that, overall, literature on gender differences was limited and did not reveal findings that were generalizable across all 11 Act to End NTDs| West countries covered by the program, except in terms of biological differences in health and social impacts experienced by women and girls as a result of NTD infection, as well as higher rates of trachoma infection experienced by women and girls.
The analysis also found that in addition to increased health impacts from NTD infection, the social consequences of NTD infections are different for men and women and may disproportionately impact women, particularly when NTD infections negatively affect socially ascribed assets and attributes for femininity such as beauty, marriage, motherhood and childcare. Men are particularly impacted by the social impacts of hydrocele (scrotal swelling associated with lymphatic filariasis) described below. Women and men’s, as well as boys’ and girls’ vulnerability to NTD infection is often related to their productive, reproductive and community gender roles, and NTDs have lasting impacts on educational and economic opportunities and outcomes which may differ for the sexes.