IntraHealth Cosponsors Conference on Violence in the Health Sector

IntraHealth International is a proud cosponsor of the 2010 International Conference on Workplace Violence in the Health Sector, convening October 27-29 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Workplace violence affects occupational health worldwide. It takes many forms—physical assault, verbal abuse, sexual or racial harassment, bullying. This conference focuses on the reality of workplace violence in health care institutions and its effects on health workers, quality of health care, patients, and the larger community.

Constance Newman, IntraHealth’s senior team leader for gender equality and health, will chair a series of presentations on violence against health workers and strategies for managing violence. She will present results from a 2008 study IntraHealth conducted through the Capacity Project entitled, “Workplace Violence, Gender Discrimination and Steps toward Health Systems Reform in Rwanda,” which measured workplace violence and contributing factors, including gender discrimination and inequality.

This presentation will cover the Capacity Project’s collaboration with a Rwandan stakeholder steering committee drawn from the Ministries of Health, Public Service and Labor, Justice, Gender and Women’s Promotion, and the Rwanda Health Workers Union and will include the committee’s recommendations for policy reform to eliminate violence in the health sector and make work environments safer for all of Rwanda’s health workers. Dr. Gerard Ngendahimana, IntraHealth’s deputy chief of party for technical services for the HIV/AIDS Clinical Services Program in Rwanda, will also attend the conference and offer insights into the evolution of the policy and legal environment in Rwanda.

By examining possible links between gender discrimination and experiences of violence, this study showed that negative stereotypes of female health workers, discrimination based on pregnancy and family responsibilities, and the "glass ceiling" affected female health workers’ work experiences and career paths.

Read more about this work in Constance Newman’s blog.