About the Commission

The Lancet-SIGHT Commission on peaceful societies through health and gender equality is an independent, international, and interdisciplinary group of experts dedicated to generating new evidence and practical recommendations on how improved health and gender equality can contribute to more peaceful societies – that is, societies that are absent from war and have the presence of harmonious, trustful, and cooperative relationships between entities and non-violent means of conflict resolution (Figure 1). Hosted by the Swedish Institute for Global Health Transformation (SIGHT), the Commission is chaired by former President Tarja Halonen of Finland, and co-chaired by Zulfiqar Bhutta, Peter Friberg, and Catherine Kyobutungi.

The Commission’s guiding question is, how can health and gender equality contribute to more peaceful societies? This question flips the typical framing of these issues – e.g., the ways in which conflict and instability contribute to poor health outcomes and gender inequality. To address this, the Commission is examining the relationship between key indicators of health, gender equality, conflict, and peace; the impact of improved health and gender equality on peace; and the institutions that shape health and gender equality.

The Commission will identify interlinkages and pathways to advance the Sustainable Development Goals for good health and well-being (SDG 3), gender equality (SDG 5), and peace, justice, and strong institutions (SDG 16).

The Commission has a five-year work plan, with years 1-2 dedicated to evidence generation and report publication and years 3-5 focused on dissemination, implementation, and monitoring of the report’s recommendations.

The Commission has received financial support from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation in the United States, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in Finland, and Canada’s International Development Research Centre.

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Figure 1: Focus of the Lancet-SIGHT Commission on peaceful societies through health and gender equality