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PHFI, WomenLift Health launch ‘Women’s Leadership in Public Health’ 

It is a collaboration to drive gender equity in public health in India

The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and WomenLift Health have embarked on a strategic collaboration to introduce Women’s Leadership in Public Health (WLPH), a leadership development program for women scientists, fostering greater inclusivity in India’s public health research, programme and policy ecosystem. 

The programme aims to buttress long-term and equitable improvements in India’s health landscape by enhancing the power and influence of mid-career women leaders from premier public health institutions in India. Beyond technical expertise, the programme is designed to address systemic gender disparities that have impeded women’s access to leadership thus far. The inaugural 2024 edition of WLPH is targeted at women scientists who are gaining expertise with PHFI in disease burden estimation. 

“By harnessing the collective potential of women scientists from a variety of esteemed research institutions in India, this collaboration embodies a commitment to amplifying the voices and impact of women leaders in public health,” said Ayesha Chaudhary, India Director, WomenLift Health. 

The programme provides an immersive learning experience and a safe space to develop authentic, inclusive, strategic, and impactful leadership skills. Through culturally contextualised learning materials, the program aims to cultivate competencies in these leadership styles, ensuring a well-rounded approach to leadership development. 

“This endeavour is designed to address inclusivity in the traditionally siloed areas of research and advocacy by elevating women’s leadership to shape a more equitable research landscape in India. This would also facilitate progress on women’s health, which remains a global priority,” said Prof Rakhi Dandona, Professor, PHFI. 

The collaboration underscores WomenLift Health’s goal of transforming public health leadership in India by driving institutional investments in women health leaders to influence the environments, systems, and cultures in which they work. The organisation has also partnered with the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and Grand Challenges India (GCI) to advance women’s STEM leadership in the country. 

“This is a step towards enabling ecosystem-level changes by engaging directly with institutions for greater gender equity and driving women-led development in India,” said Ayesha.


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