August Monthly Update

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This past August we celebrated Women's Equality Day with an inspiring panel of rapid-fire presentations from our affiliates on their gender equality-focused global projects in Kenya, the United States, the Philippines, and Uganda. I thank our women warrior speakers for their dedication and tenacity to achieve gender equality globally! Everyday should be a women's equality day. While it is great that we have these days to celebrate, we know that our work everyday takes commitment and perseverance, and that we still have a long way to go.

RTI has previously conducted a large amount of work with USAID in Afghanistan. As of late, I have been especially thinking about the women and girls in Afghanistan who are facing unjust gender discrimination, having become invisible to their country, and seemingly the world once more. No matter how mighty the battle ahead of them, and although some may not even be allowed to leave their front door, Afghani women are fighting back! There is a sense of hope and strength in newly formed civil society groups seeking to to address community needs. I encourage you to read a recent press briefing from UN Women: Press briefing: The situation of women and girls in Afghanistan | UN Women – Headquarters

We have much to look forward to in the coming months that I hope to share with you below.

In health and hope,


 RTI Gender-related August Publications

  • Barbosa C, Dowd WN, Neuwahl SJ, Rehm J, Imtiaz S, Zarkin GA. Modeling the impact of COVID-19 pandemic-driven increases in alcohol consumption on health outcomes and hospitalization costs in the United States. Addiction. 2022 Aug 1. doi: 10.1111/add.16018. 
  • Browne EN, Brown ER, Palanee-Phillips T, Reddy K, Naidoo L, Jeenarain N, Nair G, Husnik MJ, Singh D, Scheckter R, Soto-Torres L, Baeten JM, van der Straten A; MTN-020/ASPIRE Study Team. Patterns of adherence to a Dapivirine Vaginal Ring for HIV-1 prevention among South African women in a Phase III randomized controlled trial. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2022 Aug 1;90(4):418-424. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002990.
  • Chartier KG, Bares CB, Prom-Wormley EC, Blondino C, Miles K, Lee AG, Karriker-Jaffe KJ. Effects of family history of alcohol problems on alcohol consumption: Stronger for medically underserved men. Prev Med. 2022 Aug;161:107093. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2022.107093. 
  • Ettinger de Cuba S, Mbamalu M, Bovell-Ammon A, Black MM, Cutts DB, Lê-Scherban F, Coleman SM, Ochoa ER Jr, Heeren TC, Poblacion A, Sandel M, Bruce C, Rateau LJ, Frank DA. Prenatal WIC is associated with increased birth weight of infants born in the United States with immigrant mothers. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2022 Aug;122(8):1514-1524.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2022.02.005. 
  • Gillespie NA, Gentry AE, Kirkpatrick RM, Reynolds CA, Mathur R, Kendler KS, Maes HH, Webb BT, Peterson RE. Determining the stability of genome-wide factors in BMI between ages 40 to 69 years. PLoS Genet. 2022 Aug 11;18(8):e1010303. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1010303. 
  • Goldenberg RL, Naqvi S, Saleem S, McClure E. Variability in COVID-19 vaccination rates in pregnant women: Vaccine hesitancy or supply limitations? BJOG. 2022 Aug 3. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.17257. 
  • Ikejezie J, Langley T, Lewis S, Bisanzio D, Phalkey R. The epidemiology of diphtheria in Haiti, December 2014-June 2021: A spatial modeling analysis. PLoS One. 2022 Aug 22;17(8):e0273398. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0273398. 
  • Lencz T, Sabatello M, Docherty A, Peterson RE, Soda T, Austin J, Bierut L, Crepaz-Keay D, Curtis D, Degenhardt F, Huckins L, Lazaro-Munoz G, Mattheisen M, Meiser B, Peay H, Rietschel M, Walss-Bass C, Davis LK. Concerns about the use of polygenic embryo screening for psychiatric and cognitive traits. Lancet Psychiatry. 2022 Aug 2:S2215-0366(22)00157-2. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(22)00157-2. 
  • Logie CH, Earnshaw V, Nyblade L, Turan J, Stangl A, Poteat T, Nelson L, Baral S. A scoping review of the integration of empowerment-based perspectives in quantitative intersectional stigma research. Glob Public Health. 2022 Aug;17(8):1451-1466. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2021.1934061. Epub 2021 Jun 1. 
  • Machlin L, Gruhn MA, Miller AB, Milojevich HM, Motton S, Findley AM, Patel K, Mitchell A, Martinez DN, Sheridan MA. Predictors of family violence in North Carolina following initial COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Child Abuse Negl. 2022 Aug;130(Pt 1):105376. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2021.105376. 
  • Margulis AV, Huybrechts K. Identification of pregnancies in healthcare data: a changing landscape. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2022 Aug 17. doi: 10.1002/pds.5526.
  • Massud I, Krovi A, Nishiura K, Ruone S, Li L, Holder A, Gary J, Mills P, Mitchell J, Khalil G, Pan Y, Luecke E, Gatto G, Heneine W, Garcίa-Lerma JG, Johnson L, van der Straten A, Dobard C. Safety and efficacy of a biodegradable implant releasing tenofovir alafenamide for vaginal protection in a macaque model. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2022 Aug 1:dkac252. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkac252. 
  • McKinnon CJ, Joglekar DJ, Hatch EE, Rothman KJ, Wesselink AK, Willis MD, Wang TR, Mikkelsen EM, Eisenberg ML, Wise LA. Male personal heat exposures and fecundability: A preconception cohort study. Andrology. 2022 Aug 4. doi: 10.1111/andr.13242. 
  • Montgomery ET, Roberts ST, Reddy K, Tolley EE, Hartmann M, Mathebula F, Wagner LD, Lanham M, Wilcher R, Browne EN, Baeten JM, Palanee-Phillips T. The CHARISMA randomized controlled trial: A relationship-focused counseling intervention integrated within oral PrEP delivery for HIV prevention among women in Johannesburg, South Africa. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2022 Aug 1;90(4):425-433. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002991. 
  • Mulia N, Witbrodt J, Karriker-Jaffe KJ, Li L, Lui CK, Zapolski T. Education matters: longitudinal pathways to mid-life heavy drinking in a national cohort of black Americans. Addiction. 2022 Aug;117(8):2225-2234. doi: 10.1111/add.15882. 
  • Oberlin A, Wallace J, Moore JL, Saleem S, Lokangaka A, Tshefu A, Bauserman M, Figueroa L, Krebs NF, Esamai F, Liechty E, Bucher S, Patel AB, Hibberd PL, Chomba E, Carlo WA, Goudar S, Derman RJ, Koso-Thomas M, McClure EM, Goldenberg RL. Examining maternal morbidity across a spectrum of delivery locations: An analysis of the Global Network's Maternal and Neonatal Health Registry. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2022 Aug 10. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.14391. 
  • Oga E, Stockton MA, Stewart C, Kraemer J, Kimani J, Mbote D, Njuguna S, Nyblade L. Validating a measure of anticipated sex work-related stigma among male and female sex workers in Kenya. Glob Public Health. 2022 Aug 7:1-13. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2022.2105377. E
  • Page JM, Allshouse AA, Gaffney JE, Roberts VHJ, Thorsten V, Gibbins KJ, Dudley DJ, Saade G, Goldenberg RL, Stoll BJ, Hogue CJ, Bukowski R, Parker C, Conway D, Reddy UM, Varner MW, Frias AE, Silver RM. DLK1: A novel biomarker of placental insufficiency in stillbirth and live birth. Am J Perinatol. 2022 Aug 22. doi: 10.1055/a-1877-6191. 
  • Patel AB, Bann CM, Kolhe CS, Lokangaka A, Tshefu A, Bauserman M, Figueroa L, Krebs NF, Esamai F, Bucher S, Saleem S, Goldenberg RL, Chomba E, Carlo WA, Goudar S, Derman RJ, Koso-Thomas M, McClure EM, Hibberd PL. The Global Network Socioeconomic Status Index as a predictor of stillbirths, perinatal mortality, and neonatal mortality in rural communities in low and lower middle income country sites of the Global Network for Women's and Children's Health Research. PLoS One. 2022 Aug 16;17(8):e0272712. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0272712. 0.
  • Radzey N, Harryparsad R, Meyer B, Chen PL, Gao X, Morrison C, Taku O, Williamson AL, Mehou-Loko C, Lefebvre d'Hellencourt F, Buck G, Smit J, Strauss J, Nanda K, Ahmed K, Beksinska M, Serrano M, Bailey V, Masson L, Deese J. Genital inflammatory status and the innate immune response to contraceptive initiation. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2022 Aug;88(2):e13542. doi: 10.1111/aji.13542. 
  • Reno JE, Sevick C, Maertens J, Dempsey AF. Is tailored messaging more effective? An analysis of a digital health intervention to promote HPV vaccination intent among Latinx. J Behav Med. 2022 Aug 4. doi: 10.1007/s10865-022-00340-3.
  • Richter HE, Sridhar A, Nager CW, Komesu YM, Harvie HS, Zyczynski HM, Rardin C, Visco A, Mazloomdoost D, Thomas S; NICHD Pelvic Floor Disorders Network. Characteristics associated with composite surgical failure over 5 years of women in a randomized trial of sacrospinous hysteropexy with graft versus vaginal hysterectomy with uterosacral ligament suspension. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2022 Aug 2:S0002-9378(22)00619-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2022.07.048. E
  • Tang M, Weaver NE, Frank DN, Ir D, Robertson CE, Kemp JF, Westcott J, Shankar K, Garces AL, Figueroa L, Tshefu AK, Lokangaka AL, Goudar SS, Somannavar M, Aziz S, Saleem S, McClure EM, Hambidge KM, Hendricks AE, Krebs NF. Longitudinal reduction in diversity of maternal gut microbiota during pregnancy is observed in multiple low-resource settings: Results from the Women First Trial. Front Microbiol. 2022 Aug 1;13:823757. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.823757. 
  • Wesselink AK, Willis SK, Laursen ASD, Mikkelsen EM, Wang TR, Trolle E, Tucker KL, Rothman KJ, Wise LA, Hatch EE. Protein-rich food intake and risk of spontaneous abortion: a prospective cohort study. Eur J Nutr. 2022 Aug;61(5):2737-2748. doi: 10.1007/s00394-022-02849-4. 
  • Young LW, Ounpraseuth S, Merhar SL, Simon AE, Das A, Greenberg RG, Higgins RD, Lee J, Poindexter BB, Smith PB, Walsh M, Snowden J, Devlin LA; Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network and the NIH Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program Institutional Development Awards States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network. Eating, Sleeping, Consoling for Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal (ESC-NOW): a Function-Based Assessment and Management Approach study protocol for a multi-center, stepped-wedge randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2022 Aug 9;23(1):638. doi: 10.1186/s13063-022-06445-z. 

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


 August Publication Feature

Logie CH, Earnshaw V, Nyblade L, Turan J, Stangl A, Poteat T, Nelson L, Baral S. A scoping review of the integration of empowerment-based perspectives in quantitative intersectional stigma research. Glob Public Health. 2022 Aug;17(8):1451-1466. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2021.1934061. Epub 2021 Jun 1. PMID: 34061710.

This scoping review examined whether and how empowerment-based approaches were included in quantitative studies focused on intersectional stigma. Authors identified 32 studies, of which 13 incorporated empowerment-based approaches, and found that quantitative stigma researchers should expand to examine activism and solidarity. Findings also suggested that there is more to be learned about the protective roles of empowerment-based factors to inform health and policy campaigns.

RTI Gender-related August Project Wins

Congratulations to:

  • Timothy Fennell and team on their win, Fabrication of Nanoscale Plastics and Effects on Intestinal Barrier Function In Vitro, from NIH NIES
  • Katherine King and team on their win, Cambodia Integrated Early Childhood Development Activity, from USAID Cambodia Mission
  • Felicia Browne and team on their win, GODDESS (Gathering Online for Dialogue and Discussion to Enhance Social Support): Engaging young African American Women, from NIH NIAAA
  • Scott Runyon and team on their win, RXR receptor modulators for prostate cancer, from Duke University


August Project Feature


Check out CHARISMA Mobile as a tool for adult women and adolescent girls and young women to work through challenges with relationships and PrEP! CHARISMA is an empowerment-based, counsellor-administered intervention that was adapted into a mobile-friendly, self-administered website, CHARISMA Mobile, for wider accessibility and fewer human resources for HIV prevention and relationship counseling. CHARISMA Mobile is funded by Digital Square, a PATH-led initiative funded and designed by USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and a consortium of other investors. This brief outlines why and how you can use the CHARISMA Mobile content on your own digital platforms, and an overview of the development of CHARISMA Mobile. If you are working in a health setting, these printable flyers (1, 2, 3) with QR codes will direct visitors to CHARISMA Mobile content adapted to young people of any gender identity through the South Africa Department of Health’s B-Wise website.

August Event Recap

August 26th was Women's Equality Day! We hosted a wonderful panel of RTI gender researchers and scientists who discussed their work addressing gender inequalities in health and wellness, education, and violence globally. We heard from Dr. Chessa Lutter, Ms. Cristina Bisson, Dr. Elizabeth Randolph, and Dr. Felicia Browne as they presented on their work in Kenya, the Philippines, Uganda, and the United States, respectively. Close to 50 people attended this event on a Friday!
Please email if you are interested in viewing the recording.

 Upcoming Events

Event dates and formal invitations coming soon!


Affiliates will share their research on suicide prevention and risk in a panel format.

Special Invited Guest Speaker & External Affiliate
Dr. Mary Ellsberg is the Founding Director of the Global Women's Institute at GWU and renowned domestic violence and women's health expert. 

Join us as our male affiliates share their research focused on the mental and physical health of men and boys.

Gender Science News 

50 years of research productivity trends across fields and genders
Vegetarian women are at a higher risk of hip fracture
Inflammatory bowel disease increases risks for pregnant women
New prenatal test can reduce time, cost of detecting chromosomal abnormalities

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