At UICC, issues of equity and gender equality in global health are embedded in the core functioning and vision of the organisation. Gender balance in health care can directly influence the topics and issues that an organisation chooses to prioritise - and this has a measurable impact on how equally health benefits are received by all.
UICC considers not only issues of gender balance but also those of age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, geographical location, and educational and social backgrounds. A concern for social equity in cancer control is the red thread that runs through all of UICC’s projects and activities, its advocacy agenda, its member and partner relations and capacity building mission, the selection process for panel speakers at the World Cancer Congress and other events, as well as its organisational policies.
Concerned with all aspects of cancer control benefitting patients regardless of their gender, UICC’s advocacy takes a high-level and balanced approach across the cancer continuum, from prevention, early detection and diagnosis, to treatment and palliative care. It connects key global health agendas with the noncommunicable disease global action plan, the sustainable development goals and the push towards universal health care.
The organisation addresses the fact that girls and women, and especially girls in women in poor communities, are vulnerable and disadvantaged with regard to access to health information, prevention and care services, and experience poorer cancer outcomes. The global pattern of cervical cancer incidence and mortality, for instance, illustrates this disparity in access and outcomes between rich and poor more than any other, particularly as this is a preventable cancer.
UICC is partnering with WHO and other UN system partners to accelerate national action by 2030, aiming to scale up in all countries HPV vaccination and screening with high performance HPV-testing and treatment, including palliative care. This triple-intervention strategy has the potential to save up to 15 million lives in the coming decade alone.
In terms of internal processes, UICC is a longstanding equal opportunity employer located at the heart of International Geneva. It has to date nine women on its Board of 16 members, with a female President and a male President-elect, and men and women on the staff equally assume positions of leadership. UICC offers paid paternity leave and has long implemented policies addressing possible cases of harassment and discrimination.
UICC strives every day to place equity concerns at the forefront of its work, to ensure that everyone is included and benefits from the global fight against cancer.