Advancing equality: gender transformative policies, inclusive agendas, and research insights from around the world

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The George Institute for Global Health hosted this webinar to mark International Women’s Day 2022 and to hear from a range of speakers working to advance gender equality and build support for women’s health and rights in contexts around the world. 

Presentations focus on: addressing the impact of NCDs on African women through rights-based approaches; integrating sex and gender in medical research to improve health equity; addressing prejudice and developing crucial support for the mental health of trans people in India; funding research to better understand the health and economic burden of NCDs for women in Mexico, and are followed by a panel discussion.

The recording is available here:


  • Johanna Riha

    Johanna is an epidemiologist with over ten years of experience working in public health research and health policy in global health. She is currently a Research Fellow in the Gender and Health Hub at the United Nations University - International Institute for Global Health, where she leads work focused on consolidating and synthesizing evidence to support better integration of evidence-based learning into health programs and health system blocks to advance gender equality.

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  • Kate Womersley

    Dr Kate Womersley is a Psychiatry trainee in Edinburgh, NHS Lothian. She is an honorary Research Associate at The George Institute for Global Health and Imperial College London, where she is co-leading a project with Professor Robyn Norton on sex and gender inclusion in UK biomedical research.


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  • Sandhya Kanaka Yatirajula

    Dr. Y.K.Sandhya is a Senior Research Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health where she manages a large cluster randomised control trial that aims to test the effectiveness of a community based anti-stigma campaign co-designed by adolescents to reduce mental health stigma.

    Sandhya is a trained qualitative researcher and has extensive experience of working with human rights based approaches, maternal health and right, youth sexual and reproductive health and rights and on gender justice. Her recent area of interest is mental health and she is particularly interested in researching on the mental health of vulnerable individuals such as transgenders.

    She holds a PhD from the Department of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

    Dr Sandhya
  • Cristóbal Thompson

    Cristóbal has been the Executive Director of the Mexican Association of Pharmaceutical Research Industries (AMIIF) since 2013, and he is a member of the Board of Directors of Direct Relief Mexico.

    In 2019 he was one of the authors compiled in 'Advances and perspectives of clinical research in Mexico', a book coordinated by Samuel Ponce de León and Juan Ramón de la Fuente. Under his leadership, AMIIF has been received the Ethics and Values Award of the Concamin Foundation.

    In 2021, AMIIF promoted an alliance with the National Institute of Public Health to analyse the economic and health impacts of non-communicable diseases in women in Mexico.

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  • Diana Vaca McGhie

    Diana has over 20 years of experience working in leading non-profits on various aspects of their mission delivery. Her public health experience is primarily in the areas of non-profit capacity building, international relations, human resources and advocacy.

    She currently serves as the American Heart Association’s director of global advocacy and co-chairs the Taskforce on Women and NCDs - a coalition of global health organisations from the women’s health and NCD communities responding to the unique and growing burden of NCDs. She is responsible for leading the Association’s global advocacy and engagement strategy with professional associations, the private sector and philanthropic organisations. She brings a solid history of program development and civic engagement, with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.

    Diana holds a BSc. in Business Administration from Stony Brook University and a Masters in Public Administration from New York University. She makes her home in the Washington D.C. area with her family.

    Diana Vaca McGhie headshot