April Monthly Update

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

May is almost upon us with a focus on maternal mental health awareness so look out for our events and other special days. We congratulate our interns graduating with the school year ending in the US. Summer will be here soon while Winter begins in other regions, so enjoy the changes. Here at RTI, we are also facing many changes, including where do we work as our offices re-open and as staff determine work spaces and realignment. Above all, we stay busy with so many impactful gender projects, publications and presentations, its already a fruitful year. Thank you all for your commitment to make a difference!

We are excited as we ready for our 14th InWomen's Conference hybrid conference taking place in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 10th, see more  below. We are accepting late breaker abstracts from May 1-7. You can submit abstracts here. Late breakers will be presented in-person or virtually.

This April we hosted an event in honor of Earth Day, where we heard from RTI International experts and other researchers about their work addressing environmental issues and climate change in Somalia, Haiti, and the Philippines, and how their work also impacts gender inequities. We know that women and girls are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and it was great to hear more about how programs are trying to impact these disparities globally. As natural disasters like the recent catastrophic floods in Durban occur, the urgency of climate change work is clear.

I am continuously thinking about the worsening situation in Ukraine, and am especially saddened about hearing the civilian impacts of this conflict and how many women and children have been impacted by ongoing bombings.  One of our Ukrainian InWomen’s scientists will be in-person sharing her story this June as our special guest.

As we see some COVID-19 cases rising and as restrictions are changing globally, I wish you and your families well.
In health,


 RTI Gender-related April Publications


  • Allotey, D., Flax, V. L., Ipadeola, A., Kwasu, S., Bentley, M. E., Worku, B., Kalluru, K., Valle, C. G., Bose, S., & Martin, S. L. (2022). Maternal and paternal involvement in complementary feeding in Kaduna State, Nigeria: The continuum of gender roles in urban and rural settings. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 18(2), e13325. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.13325
  • Bailey, L. C., Bryan, M., Maltenfort, M., Block, J. P., Teneralli, R., Lunsford, D., Boone-Heinonen, J., Eneli, I., Horgan, C. E., Lin, P.-I. D., Reynolds, J. S., Solomonides, A. E., Janicke, D., Sturtevant, J. L., Toh, S., Taveras, E., Appelhans, B. M., Arterburn, D., Daley, M. F., … PCORnet Antibiotics and Childhood Growth Study Group. (2022). Antibiotics prior to age 2 years have limited association with preschool growth trajectory. International Journal of Obesity, 46(4), 843–850. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41366-021-01023-w
  • Bauserman, M., Leuba, S. I., Hemingway-Foday, J., Nolen, T. L., Moore, J., McClure, E. M., Lokangaka, A., Tsehfu, A., Patterson, J., Liechty, E. A., Esamai, F., Carlo, W. A., Chomba, E., Goldenberg, R. L., Saleem, S., Jessani, S., Koso-Thomas, M., Hoffman, M., Derman, R. J., … Bose, C. L. (2022). The efficacy of low-dose aspirin in pregnancy among women in malaria-endemic countries. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 22(1), 303. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-022-04652-9
  • Das, A., & McGuire, W. (2022). Therapeutic Hypothermia for Neonatal Encephalopathy in Low- or Middle-Income Countries: How Certain Is the Evidence? Neonatology, 1–3. https://doi.org/10.1159/000524039
  • Finn, K., Quick, S., Anater, A., Hampton, J., Kineman, B., & Klish, W. (2022). Breastfed and mixed fed infants who do not consume infant cereal are at risk for inadequate iron intake: data from the feeding infants and toddlers study 2016, a cross-sectional survey. BMC Pediatrics, 22(1), 219. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12887-022-03104-9
  • Firestein, M. R., Romeo, R. D., Winstead, H., Goldman, D. A., Grobman, W. A., Haas, D., Mercer, B., Parker, C., Parry, S., Reddy, U., Silver, R., Simhan, H., Wapner, R. J., & Champagne, F. A. (2022). Elevated prenatal maternal sex hormones, but not placental aromatase, are associated with child neurodevelopment. Hormones and Behavior, 140, 105125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2022.105125
  • Gatz, J. L., Armstrong, M. A., Postlethwaite, D., Raine-Bennett, T., Chillemi, G., Alabaster, A., Merchant, M., Reed, S. D., Ichikawa, L., Getahun, D., Fassett, M. J., Shi, J. M., Xie, F., Chiu, V. Y., Im, T. M., Takhar, H. S., Wang, J., Saltus, C. W., Ritchey, M. E., … Peipert, J. F. (2022). Association Between Intrauterine Device Type and Risk of Perforation and Device Expulsion: Results From the APEX-IUD Study. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2022.03.062
  • Giovenco, D., Pettifor, A., Powers, K. A., Hightow-Weidman, L., Pence, B. W., Edwards, J. K., Gill, K., Morton, J. F., van der Straten, A., Celum, C., & Bekker, L.-G. (2022). The effect of PrEP use disclosure on adherence in a cohort of adolescent girls and young women in South Africa. AIDS and Behavior, 26(4), 1007–1016. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-021-03455-x
  • Goldenberg, R. L., & McClure, E. M. (2022). Antibiotics at delivery: do the benefits outweigh the risks? BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 129(5), 731–732. https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.17016
  • Gottfredson, N. C., Bhushan, N. L., Reyes, H. L. M., Pettifor, A. E., & Kahn, K. (2022). Effects of early social bonds on adolescent trajectories of sexual risk behaviors among South African girls. AIDS and Behavior, 26(4), 1173–1182. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-021-03472-w
  • Hawley, I., Song, M., Scheckter, R., McClure, T., Piper, J., Chen, B. A., Hoesley, C., Liu, A. Y., & van der Straten, A. (2022). Users’ preferred characteristics of vaginal rings for HIV prevention: A qualitative analysis of two phase I trials. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, 38(4), 313–326. https://doi.org/10.1089/AID.2021.0077
  • Hayashi, Y., Hantula, D. A., & Washio, Y. (2022). A cluster analysis of mothers of reproductive age based on their attitude and risk of alcohol use. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1037/pha0000567
  • Hughes, P. M., Ostrout, T. L., Pèrez Jolles, M., & Thomas, K. C. (2022). Adverse childhood experiences across birth generation and LGBTQ+ identity, behavioral risk factor surveillance system, 2019. American Journal of Public Health, 112(4), 662–670. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2021.306642
  • Ikram, N., Frost, A., LeMasters, K., Hagaman, A., Baranov, V., Gallis, J., Sikander, S., Scherer, E., & Maselko, J. (2022). Adverse childhood experiences and implications of perceived stress, anxiety and cortisol among women in Pakistan: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open, 12(4), e052280. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-052280
  • Kurup, A. R., George, M. J., Burnell, K., & Underwood, M. K. (2022). A Longitudinal Investigation of Observed Adolescent Text-Based Sexting and Adjustment. Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, 50(4), 431–445. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-021-00850-9
  • Laursen, A. S. D., Johannesen, B. R., Willis, S. K., Hatch, E. E., Wise, L. A., Wesselink, A. K., Rothman, K. J., Sørensen, H. T., & Mikkelsen, E. M. (2022). Adherence to Nordic dietary patterns and risk of first-trimester spontaneous abortion. European Journal of Nutrition. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-022-02886-z
  • MacMonegle, A. J., Smith, A. A., Duke, J., Bennett, M., Siegel-Reamer, L. R., Pitzer, L., Speer, J. L., & Zhao, X. (2022). Effects of a national campaign on youth beliefs and perceptions about electronic cigarettes and smoking. Preventing Chronic Disease, 19, E16. https://doi.org/10.5888/pcd19.210332
  • Montgomery, E. T., Roberts, S. T., Reddy, K., Tolley, E. E., Hartmann, M., Mathebula, F., Wagner, L. D., Lanham, M., Wilcher, R., Browne, E. N., Baeten, J. M., & Palanee-Phillips, T. (2022). The CHARISMA randomized controlled trial: a relationship-focused counseling intervention integrated within oral PrEP delivery for HIV prevention among women in Johannesburg, South Africa. JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. https://doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0000000000002991
  • Naqvi, S., Naqvi, F., Saleem, S., Thorsten, V. R., Figueroa, L., Mazariegos, M., Garces, A., Patel, A., Das, P., Kavi, A., Goudar, S. S., Esamai, F., Mwenchanya, M., Chomba, E., Lokangaka, A., Tshefu, A., Yousuf, S., Bauserman, M., Bose, C. L., … Goldenberg, R. L. (2022). Health Care in Pregnancy During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Pregnancy Outcomes in Six Low-and-Middle-Income Countries: Evidence from a Prospective, Observational Registry of the Global Network for Women’s and Children’s Health. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.17175
  • Porter, K. A., O’Neill, C., Drake, E., Andrews, S. M., Delaney, K., Parker, S., Escolar, M. L., Montgomery, S., Moon, W., Worrall, C., & Peay, H. L. (2022). Caregivers’ assessment of meaningful and relevant clinical outcome assessments for Sanfilippo syndrome. Journal of Patient-Reported Outcomes, 6(1), 40. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41687-022-00447-w
  • Radzey, N., Harryparsad, R., Meyer, B., Chen, P. L., Gao, X., Morrison, C., Taku, O., Williamson, A.-L., Mehou-Loko, C., d’Hellencourt, F. L., Buck, G., Smit, J., Strauss, J., Nanda, K., Ahmed, K., Beksinska, M., Serrano, M., Bailey, V., Masson, L., & Deese, J. (2022). Genital inflammatory status and the innate immune response to contraceptive initiation. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology. https://doi.org/10.1111/aji.13542
  • Raynes-Greenow, C., Alam, A., Billah, S. M., Islam, S., Agho, K., Rokonuzzaman, S. M., Thornburg, J., El Arifeen, S., Chowdhury, A. I., Poriborton Trial Team, & Dibley, M. J. (2022). Protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial of LPG cookstoves compared to usual cooking practices to reduce perinatal mortality and morbidity in rural Bangladesh called Poriborton: the CHANge trial. Trials, 23(1), 325. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-022-06146-7
  • Salyer, C., Lee, J., Lorvick, J., Comfort, M., Cropsey, K., Smith, S., Emerson, A., & Ramaswamy, M. (2022). Cervical Cancer Prevention Behaviors Among Criminal-Legal Involved Women from Three U.S. Cities. Journal of Women’s Health, 31(4), 533–545. https://doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2021.0250
  • Shangase, N., Edwards, J., Pence, B., Aiello, A., Hussong, A., Gómez-Olivé, X., Kahn, K., Stoner, M., & Pettifor, A. (2022). Effect of Quality of Caregiver-Adolescent Relationship on Sexual Debut, Transactional Sex, and on Age-Disparate Relationships Among Young Women in Rural South Africa Enrolled in HPTN 068. JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 89(4), 366–373. https://doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0000000000002890
  • Trocin, K. E., Oga, E. A., Mulatya, C., Mark, K. S., & Coleman-Cowger, V. H. (2022). Patient perceptions of three substance use screening tools for use during pregnancy. Maternal and Child Health Journal. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-022-03442-1
  • Trude, A. C. B., Armstrong, B., Kramer Fiala Machado, A., Wickwire, E. M., Covington, L. B., Wang, Y., Hager, E., & Black, M. M. (2022). Waking up to sleep’s role in obesity and blood pressure among Black adolescent girls in low-income, US urban communities: A longitudinal analysis. Sleep Health, 8(2), 200–207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2021.12.001


We update our website regularly with all RTI Gender-related publications under resources. Please let us know if we missed any of yours. 


 April Publication Feature

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Exploring the impact of COVID-19 on maternal care and childbirth globally is key to evaluating the strength of healthcare systems, and to understand the systems-level impact that the pandemic has had on healthcare services. This paper showed the results of a six country study based in communities in Kenya, Pakistan, India, Guatemala, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia which evaluated medical care for pregnant women prior to and during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers found that there was a small but statistically significant increase in home births across study countries, and a small but statistically significant decrease in antenatal care visits. However, most other key birth outcomes, such as stillbirths, maternal mortality, and neonatal mortality, among others, were relatively unchanged. 

Naqvi, S., Naqvi, F., Saleem, S., Thorsten, V. R., Figueroa, L., Mazariegos, M., Garces, A., Patel, A., Das, P., Kavi, A., Goudar, S. S., Esamai, F., Mwenchanya, M., Chomba, E., Lokangaka, A., Tshefu, A., Yousuf, S., Bauserman, M., Bose, C. L., … Goldenberg, R. L. (2022). Health Care in Pregnancy During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Pregnancy Outcomes in Six Low-and-Middle-Income Countries: Evidence from a Prospective, Observational Registry of the Global Network for Women’s and Children’s Health. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.17175



 RTI Gender-related April Project Wins

Congratulations to:

  • Meredith Crews and team on their win, Sexual Risk Avoidance Training and Technical Assistance, from ACF Family and Youth Services Bureau
  • Rachel Nugent and team on their win, PULESA-Uganda Year 2 Additional Funds, from Infectious Disease Research Collaboration
  • Alexandra Minnis and team on their win, Synthesis of End-User Research to Inform Future MPTs, from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Chasity Norton and team on their win, LA HIV Treatment in Pediatrics (DAISY R33 phase), from PHS NIH NIAID
  • David Johndrow and team on their win, REDCap Training for RTI-HS Proposal 0382200.157 Development of an ePRO in Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis, from RTI Health Solutions
  • Jessie Stadd and team on their win, NCSES Technical Analytic Support Services Task Order 2: Support for Production of Analytical Products, from NSF SBE/NCSES

 April Project Win Feature

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The Sexual Risk Avoidance Training and Technical Assistance project seeks to train individuals who work with adolescents on strategies to teach teens how to reduce sexual risk behavior. 

Congratulations to Meredith Crews and team on their win from ACF Family and Youth Services Bureau!

  April Events

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On Earth Day, the RTI Global Gender Center hosted a panel featuring experts from RTI International's International Development Group who each work on projects addressing climate change and the environment, and whose projects have key findings about gender or who explicitly work at the intersection of environmental conservation and management and gender inequities. Presentations focused on supporting female farmers in shock-prone markets Somalia and Haiti, camel leasing in Somalia and its impact on women, and biodiversity conservation efforts in the Philippines and how to engage with women to support conservation. 

If you are interested in viewing this event, please reach out to ivanderdrift@rti.org for the recording. 



 Upcoming Events

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Stay tuned for an event honoring Maternal Mental Health Month featuring RTI researchers!


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14th InWomen's Group Conference: Facing Our Challenges and Keeping Our Commitment in the Field of Gender and Substance Use | June 10, 2022

The 2022 InWomen's Conference will be in-person this year in Minneapolis, Minnesota! The conference will also have a hybrid option for those who are unable to attend in person.

Late Breaker submissions with new data will be accepted for consideration May 1-7, 2022. You can submit here

Key Date
Registration Deadline: June 3, 2022 at 11:59 PM EDT

Register Here


 Gender Science News 

Reproductive factors and dementia risk
Antibiotic and antiretroviral drug effects on breast milk are explored for mothers living with HIV
Immersive VR: Empowering kids to survive in fire, flood, and war
Boys are more demanding than girls before they are born, according to scientists
Omicron prompted spike in COVID cases in pregnant women, but fewer hospitalizations


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