Introduction: Despite a century of work toward gender equality, sex and gender disparities in health remain. Morbidity and mortality rates as well as quality of care received differ between men and women. The Philadelphia Ujima Coalition for a Healthier Community is composed of 23 academic, social service, wellness, faith-based, governmental, and healthcare organizations. The coalition, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health, used a community participatory framework to conduct a gender-informed needs assessment of priority areas for women's health. Methods: A four-tiered approach was used: 1) Coalition members identified priority areas; 2) we analyzed data from the Southeastern Pennsylvania 2010 Household Health Survey to identify gender differences in health; 3) using a gender analysis framework, we conducted interviews with " key informant" stakeholders; and 4) we conducted a community health assessment including 160 women. We used a participatory process to rank priority areas. Results: Sex and gender disparities in health outcomes and behaviors were observed. Data were used to identify gender barriers and norms that influence health practices and behaviors, defining priority areas for the health of women and girls. Effective health promotion strategies were also identified. Conclusions: A gender-integrated needs assessment of girls and women can reveal priority areas and gender-related objectives that should be included in health promotion programming for girls and women.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors acknowledge appreciation for the Office on Women's Health, Grant #1 CCE WH 101015-02-00, Coalition for a Healthier Community Program, for funding this project. We also thank all of the Coalition members, community site partners, student and clinical ambassadors, resource partners, participants, and everyone who participated in and contributed to this project. Candace Robertson-James and Serita Reels had full access to all the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.