Lanice C. Williams

Lanice C. Williams, Chair, Washington, DC Chapter, Women in Global Health

Lanice C. Williams

Chair, Washington, DC Chapter, Women in Global Health

Lanice C. Williams, M.S., CHES®

Lanice C. Williams is a global health and gender consultant. She has over 11 years of experience working on research, programmatic, and policy initiatives in the United States, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. She recently served as a Sr. Program Officer at Jhpiego, providing cross-cutting management and programmatic support for the Maximizing Options to Advance Informed Choice for HIV Prevention (MOSAIC) project and the RISE PEPFAR HOP activity lead. She has worked on issues ranging from gender integration, HIV prevention, SRHR, and GBV prevention and response. She was a 2022 Fellow with WomenLift Heath. She serves as the Chair for Women in Global Health Washington DC Chapter, Co-Chair for the Young Professionals Program with the United Nations Association-National Capital Area (UNA-NCA), and a Commissioner with the DC Commission for Women, a three-appointment by the Mayor of Washington DC. She is a dual citizen of Jamaica and the U.S. and holds a Masters of Science in Health Education and Bachelors of Science in Biology from Howard University.

All Sessions by Lanice C. Williams

2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Women on the Frontlines: An Undervalued and Unprotected Workforce

Led by: WomenLift Health.

Women are the backbone of every successful health workforce and health initiative. They make up 70% of the global workforce and 90% of frontline healthcare workers (HCWs), yet they are overburdened, underpaid, unsupported and unprotected in the workplace. According to the Community Health Impact Coalition, 50% community frontline workers in LMICs, and 86% in Africa, are not salaried. Country policies and frameworks on the incentive-based or volunteer labor of frontline workers are compounded by donor-funded primary care programs that support delivering healthcare through unpaid labor as an acceptable mechanism to enable access to care and achieve universal healthcare coverage, thus perpetuating forms of structural violence. In most LMIC’s there is no legal/policy framework specifically designed to protect frontline health workers. The leadership and power structures frontline HCWs report to are still predominantly male. According to the #HealthToo report by Women in Global Health, which analyzed women’s stories from 40 countries, women face blatant harassment and assault in the workplace. Failing to value, promote, pay or protect frontline workers impacts retention and quality of service delivery and ultimately negatively impacts the health system.

This panel brings together Alumnae from the Leadership Journey and women working on the issues of the frontline women workforce. The session will outline the current state of women on the frontlines in low-resource countries, with particular emphasis on Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa’s community health workforce. We will discuss the critical need to build leadership among women while simultaneously working to shift gender-based social perceptions and power dynamics and address issues of pay and protection. Panelists will share specific country examples which have been undertaken to understand and address these inequities, discuss challenges, and opportunities for donors, advocacy groups, and ministries of health to support a shift to a more empowered, safe, and fairly paid frontline workforce.

Moderator: Ms. Lanice C. Williams, Independent Consultant; Chair, Women in Global Health Washington, DC Chapter

1. Samara Andrade - Vice President, Program Strategy and Partnerships, HCP CureBlindness/SightLife international
2. Dr. Sanjana Mohan, Director, Basic Healthcare Services
3. Dr. Choolwe Jacobs, Lead for Women in Global Health Zambia Chapter
4. Dr. Priya Nanda, Independent Consultant, Gender, SRHR, and Women’s Economic Empowerment

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Mt. Meru

Women in Global Health: Defying Backlash and Cultivating Leadership for Gender-Responsive Health Systems

Led by: Women in Global Health.

Women in Global Health (WGH) was the first organization to campaign for gender equality in health leadership. Since launching its movement in 2015, its global advocacy is supported today by 57 country chapters across 51 countries. Collectively they have garnered considerable political awareness and momentum towards advancing gender equity in women’s leadership through gender transformative leadership.

UHC is expected to be a game changer for women’s health rights but the progress in many countries is threatened by a growing global backlash against the rights of women and girls and against wider gender equality Gender-responsive health policies and plans can address the gendered health inequities ensuring that they are tailored to the needs of a diverse population. However, this is possible only if there is an inclusive engagement and effective participation of women in policy and decision-making processes in the health sector as it allows for harnessing the diverse perspectives, expertise and lived experiences. Women’s work – paid and unpaid – forms the essential foundation for health, well-being, and delivery of health systems. Despite constituting 70% of the overall global healthcare workforce, women are vastly underrepresented i.e. only 25% in top leadership positions.

The panel moderated by Dr Shabnum Sarfraz, Deputy Executive Director WGH will bring together a dynamic group of women leaders from Nigeria, Kenya, India, Zimbabwe and US Country Chapters. They will together examine gendered health inequalities; explore the impact of escalating anti-rights backlash against women’s rights; navigate the role of women health workers amidst the evolving health landscape; outline why women’s leadership is critical to establishing gender-responsive health systems and towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC); identify the barriers and enablers to women’s advancement in the health sector and highlight the policy initiatives needed to promote gender equity in health leadership.

Moderator: Dr. Shabnum Sarfraz, Global Director, Gender and Health/ Deputy Executive Director, Women in Global Health

1. Ms. Lanice Williams, Independent Consultant, Chair, Women in Global Health Washington, DC Chapter
2. Dr. Choolwe Jacobs WGH Zambia
3. Sapna Kedia, WGH India
4. Ruth Ngechu, WGH Kenya
5. Prof Rhoda Wanyenze, WGH Uganda