Key considerations for accountability and gender in health systems in low- and middle-income countries

Linda Waldman, Sally Theobald, Rosemary Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This article poses questions, challenges, and dilemmas for health system researchers striving to better understand how gender shapes accountability mechanisms, by critically examining the relationship between accountability and gender in health systems. It raises three key considerations, namely that: (1) power and inequities are centre stage: power relations are critical to both gender and accountability, and accountability mechanisms can transform health systems to be more gender-equitable; (2) intersectionality analyses are necessary: gender is only one dimension of marginalisation and intersects with other social stratifiers to create different experiences of vulnerability; we need to take account of how these stratifiers collectively shape accountability; and (3) empowerment processes that address gender inequities are a prerequisite for bringing about accountability. We suggest that holistic approaches to understanding health systems inequities and accountability mechanisms are needed to transform gendered power inequities, impact on the gendered dimensions of ill health, and enhance health system functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-94
Number of pages14
JournalIDS Bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2018


  • Accountability
  • Empowerment
  • Gender
  • Health systems
  • Power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


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