Analysis of global health advocacy to ensure political prioritising (2000 words excluding references). Each student will provide an analysis in preparation for health advocacy based on one of the Sustainable Development Goals (below) by a) addressing social determinants of health; b) applying a ‘what’s the problem’ (Bacchi, 2009) analysis; c) outlining a theory of change incorporating an analysis of the power dynamics of the issue (political context.
Health advocacy strategy (2000 words excluding references) that is based on topic and analysis from assessment 1. The strategy will be based on a clearly articulated understanding of social change that draws on social movement theory. The strategy will address advocacy as an activity involving power and contest, and contain the following key elements a) processes for recruiting support to campaign and incorporating voices from the grassroots b) identification of key goals and milestones, c) the relevance proposed use of the four activist types d) proposals for message framing e) tactics and strategies for pressuring decision makers including identification of counter-tactics.
Background of strategizing the advocacy
Health care is one of the basic necessities in life; each and every individual in the world has a right to an optimal health care services. However, there is a prevalence of significant disparities when it comes to health care and its equal availability or accessibilities. All these disparities depend on several external or internal societal factors, although each one of them imparts a significant effect on the overall progress of the health care industry. However, among all the other influencing disparities, one of the most influential gaps can be considered the gender inequality that is prevalent in the health care industry. Now it has to be mentioned in this context, that the gender inequality is a pre-existing societal issue that dominates almost all the different personal and professional sectors of the society, however, the lack of an equal standing for the women in the society affects their health in general and their accessibility to avail health care services drastically (Bhalotra & Rawlings, 2011).
A few gender inequality issues that influence equity in health care radically include restricted availability of certain health care services to the women, restricted accessibility of health care services in general, restriction while commuting alone to the health care facility, deep routed orthodox societal believes, and the general lack of health literacy in the woman. Now all these determinants that play pivotal roles in determining the health status of the women have one key contributing factor leading to the accumulation of the issue, the gender relation of power. One of the greatest requirements in facilitating equity in health is whether the health care needs of all the individuals are being acknowledged or not (Wells et al., 2012). As a matter of fact, this is the biggest contributing factor behind the escalating issues with gender equality in the health care sector. This assignment will attempt to formulate a health advocacy strategy that can be effective to eradicate the gender inequality issues in health care and establish equity in health care delivery.
First and foremost, one of the most important factors associated with the issues prevalent in the health care industry associated with gender inequality, is the pressing need of a sweeping change in the societal outlook. According to the most of the authors, it is very important for the women in general to have a strong voice regarding their own health needs and requirements, which can actively overrule the play of patriarchal power dominating in the society. In order to do so there is an extreme need for all sectors of the society to acknowledge the deserving equal standing of the women in the society. Now this outcome cannot be overcome without the women themselves understanding and acknowledging their right for equality (Sallis, Owen & Fisher, 2015).
Key goals and milestones
Now it has to be understood in the sector is the fact that many of the women in the societal hierarchy do not recognize their own value in the society. A direct result of this extreme lack of understanding is the fact that the women in most cases either do not acknowledge their own health needs or underestimate the severity of it. It has to be understood in this context that there are deep rooted superstitions and patriarchal ideologies which restrict the women in general in the society to seek out health care when they need it. For example, in remote areas, where the women cannot avail health care where they live, and they have to commute to seek the health care they need, they are refrained from doing as only as they cannot commute alone.
According to the authors, these gender biases are heavily dependent on the core structures or foundations of the society and the way power is circulated in the social hierarchy. However, these restrictions or domination are strongly associated with two key factors, societal acknowledgment of the health care needs of the women in the society and the women understanding their right to voice their needs. Hence, if a health advocacy strategy needs to be designed, it is very important for a cumulative voice to be generated from all different age groups and socio-economic sectors that demands the health care rights that they deserve (Tolhurst et al., 2012). Now, a health advocacy strategy needs to be inclusive that incorporates ideas and grievances from all the women from all sectors of the society, from the grassroots to societal hierarchy, along with attention taken to incorporate health literacy in all sectors of the society.
A health advocacy strategy must have a set key goals and objectives, and these goals demand strategic actions to be taken. Hence, care has to be taken to incorporate all the key factors that contribute to the issue at hand. As gender equality is an issue deeply embedded in the core structure of the society, the manifestation of this issue in health care will require a revolutionary change in the entire health care sector. According to the theory of the social change a social mobilization is brought about by the help of collective efforts incorporating social, cultural, and political aspects (Connell, 2012). There are various tools for devising health advocacy strategies that ensures each and every area of need is addressed with adequate impact, one such advocacy tool is the straight to the point advocacy tool. There are three consecutive steps to this advocacy tool; the first step requires the advocacy priorities to be set.
The input from the four activist of societal structure
Now the advocacies priorities have to take into consider a few key needs and requirements of the issue at hand. First and foremost, the absolute requirement in this scenario is establishing strong health literacy in the women so that they can clearly understand the severity of the health care needs they might have. Along with that there is need for a societal reform and empowering campaigning that will educate, motivate and propel the women to come forward and fight for their rights. Now a health educational and empowerment program can be considered an umbrella term that takes into consideration several different actions and initiatives (Coleman et al., 2012). The actions that need to be taken in order to ensure optimal efficiency of the health advocacy strategy include:
- First and foremost, a health educational campaigning needs to be organized that includes different age groups of women belonging to diverse socio-economic backgrounds. Now, it has to be considered in this context that the perception, ideologies and philosophies regarding the health care needs and rights of the women can vary greatly among the population of women chosen for the campaigning, depending on age group, or socio-economic status. Hence the health education and empowerment campaigning will have to opt for differential strategies to reach out to different ideologies and mindsets.
- Elaborating more on this context, the optimal strategy will be to divide the female population into different age groups, as the ideologies regarding health care needs and rights of teenager or young women will differ radically from the elderly and unemployed women. A detailed educational counselling will be the prerequisite in order to determine the level of health literacy and health acre rights in the different women so that promotional and empowering campaigning activities can be designed as per the findings (Women, 2012).
- The next strategy will have to focus on the differential needs of the different groups of women, for instance, the understanding of health care needs of the teenage or young employed women will not be as flawed as the elderly unemployed group of women with minimal health literacy and flawed backward societal understanding of fundamental rights. For instance for the teenage groups, the most important challenge can be the lack of proper health care knowledge and inability to communicate their needs to the health care facilities. In such cases the promotional and empowerment campaigning should emphasize on educating them with scientific health care related knowledge and information regarding how they can access health care and express their needs and requirements without the added aspects of fear and shame (Baker et al., 2016).
- The second broad group of women include elderly and unemployed women with little to no knowledge and understanding of health care needs, health care rights and need for gender equality in general. For this of group of women, there will be need for a thorough counselling to help them grasp the concept of gender equality, the pressing need for it in the society and the need for voicing health care needs. In most cases, either these group of women do not interpret the health care needs for their severity or interpret the fact that they have the right to voice their health care needs and seek out health care services overcoming the societal disparities (Barker et al., 2010).
- Lastly, care should be taken to undertake an overall educational campaigning that will allow the women of all age groups and statuses so that empowerment can be facilitated among each and every individual understands their rights as an equal in the society and cooperate and motivate each other in bringing about this social change.
During any relevant and considerable change being brought forward in the society, there are many interpretations of the change by different types of societal groups and forms. However, these interpretations have the potential to influence the outcome and success of the strategy aimed at bringing forth the said change. On a more elaborative note, there are four distinct types of societal interpreters activists who impart a significant impact on the success of the strategy.
The first type is the radical activists, who have a predetermined socio-political ideology and they interpret any massive change initiative according to their predetermined ideologies; in most cases they criticize the government or multinational initiatives as evil and oppose it without analysing the pros and cons of the strategy. The best method to handle the negative feedback from the radical activists, the strategy should include public workshops and media presentations explaining the aims and objectives of the strategy along with the actions and initiatives planned to ensure that they get a clear understanding f the strategy before labelling it as evil (Razavi, 2012).
The second type of social activists is the idealists, who judge the efficacy and relevance of any social strategy with core ethical principles and abhor anything that does not meet their ethical standards. It has to be understood that the idealists attach their personal emotions with their interpretation; hence in order to influence their views of the strategy care should be taken to incorporate massive promotional activities incorporating societal values and need for gender equality. The third type is the opportunists who are only concerned with making the most advantage out of the situation to address their own selfish needs. There are a multitude of middle managers associated with the planning and implementation of the strategy and many of them can fall to this category, hence care should be taken to monitor their activities and penalize the exploiters to ensure the resources invested for the advocacy plan can be optimally utilized. The last type of activists are the realists who are the pragmatists of the social change strategy, the social workers and empowerment cells are the key members of these group, and they can be influenced by the positive PR campaigning of the strategy (Röndahl, 2011).
A promotional and empowerment campaigning can only be effective if it can rope in a massive number of women into the campaigning programs. However, there are a massive number of barriers to optimal inclusion of participants. There can be familial restriction, personal misconception and lack of understanding which can deter the individuals from participating in the campaigning activity. Therefore the messages conveyed to the women needs to be interactive and engaging so that it addresses the key sectors in their perception of health and health care and propels them to participate in the program (Kuhlmann & Annandale, 2012). Hence, there is need for research to understand the general perception of the women so that their grievances and lack of understanding can be utilized to form a message that reaches all the women and inspires them to participate.
Last but not the least, the importance of political support is an extremely important to facilitate the actions and initiatives decided on. The political power is the main determinant of the societal issues and actions taken to overcome those challenges. First and foremost, any social change strategy, regardless of its magnitude or scope, will need an affirmation from the government authorities. Now there is a multitude of different government authorities that can be the monitoring authorities of different stakeholders associated with this situation. Each and every government authorative sector will need to be informed and influenced to envision the positive outcome of the strategy.
Other than that, a health advocacy strategy with such a massive scope would require a massive funding and the budget allocation would require affirmation from the government auditing framework as well. Hence, a highly explanative and organized budget will need to be proposed to the government authorities so that the required budget allocation is facilitated. Lastly, a health advocacy campaigning program like this will be a time consuming process and will involve numerous steps.
Hence, there will be need for a strong and meticulous monitoring and controlling framework which will overlook the successful completion of the numerous individual actions and initiatives, which can only be provided by the government. On a concluding note, the opposing political party will also have a potential scope of sabotaging the success of the strategy for just the sake of opposing a government subsidized initiative. However, there is need for a considerate and compassionate effort from each and every sector of the society, including the opposition parties, so that a well deserving gender equality can be facilitated in the health care sector (Ahmed et al., 2010).
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