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Theses Master's

A Gender Analysis of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Health System Reform: An Opportune Moment to Build a Just and Inclusive Health System

Bilsky, Christine

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has experienced a near-total collapse of its healthcare system, resulting in an overwhelming majority of the population lacking access to lifesaving healthcare services. Since the mid-2000s, the DRC’s Ministry of Public Health has engaged in extensive healthcare system reform efforts under the long-term vision of achieving Universal Health Coverage. Although the literature on institutional health reform has steadily increased over the past decade, there has yet to be an in-depth analysis of the healthcare system reform efforts using a gender perspective. Previous research suggests that across their lifespan, Congolese women have poorer health outcomes than men, linking health disparities to women’s relative power, rights and access to resources. This thesis fills this gap, examining key institutional and structural interventions for their implications on health experienced by Congolese women from conception to beyond their reproductive years. This thesis suggests that healthcare reform efforts over the past eleven years have had severe deficits for Congolese women’s health. As the DRC government aims to strengthen its capacities to provide quality healthcare to its population, it is more important than ever to identify how and to what extent intervening variables of the health systems reform efforts are normatively and consequentially reflective of differential gendered experiences of health.

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Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Martin, Joseph Paul
Degree
M.A., Columbia University
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