The UCL Centre for Gender and Global Health

Prof. Sarah Hawkes

Sarah Hawkes is a medical doctor with a degree in sociology and a PhD in epidemiology. She is Professor of Global Public Health at University College London where she leads a research theme analysing the use of evidence in policy processes, particularly in relation to gender and health, and sexual health. She has lived and worked for much of the past 20 years in Asia, where she has gathered evidence, built capacity and helped develop policy for programmes focusing on gender, sexual health and human rights. She works closely with national governments, research organisations, WHO and UNFPA in Asia and the Middle East. 


Selected Papers

Mannell, J., & Hawkes, S. (2017). Decriminalisation of gender-based violence is a global health problem. BMJ Global Health, 2 (3), e000438. doi:10.1136/bmjgh-2017-000438

Hawkes, S., & Buse, K. (2017). Gender myths in global health. LANCET GLOBAL HEALTH, 5 (9), E871

Hawkes, S., Buse, K., & Kapilashrami, A. (2017). Gender blind? An analysis of global public-private partnerships for healthGLOBALIZATION AND HEALTH, 13, ARTN 26. doi:10.1186/s12992-017-0249-1

Buse K, Hildebrand M, Hawkes S. (2016) A farewell to abstinence and fidelity? Lancet Global Health; 4(9: DOI:

Buse, K., & Hawkes, S. (2015). Health in the sustainable development goals: Ready for a paradigm shift?Globalization and Health11(1). doi:10.1186/s12992-015-0098-8

Puri, M., Misra, G., & Hawkes, S. (2015). Hidden voices: Prevalence and risk factors for violence against women with disabilities in Nepal Health behavior, health promotion and society. BMC Public Health15(1). doi:10.1186/s12889-015-1610-z

Gamlin, J., & Hawkes, S. (2015). Pregnancy and birth in an indigenous Huichol community: from structural violence to structural policy responses. Culture, Health and Sexuality17(1), 78-91. doi:10.1080/13691058.2014.950334

Hawkes, S. (2014). Sexual health: a post-2015 palimpsest in global health? Lancet Glob Health2(7), e377-e378. doi:10.1016/S2214-109X(14)70036-1

Cooper, B., Toskin, I., Kulier, R., Allen, T., & Hawkes, S. (2014). Brief sexuality communication-a behavioural intervention to advance sexually transmitted infection/HIV prevention: a systematic reviewBJOG-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OBSTETRICS AND GYNAECOLOGY121, 92-103. doi:10.1111/1471-0528.12877 

Hawkes, S., Kismödi, E., Larson, H., & Buse, K. (2014). Vaccines to promote and protect sexual health: policy challenges and opportunities. Vaccine32(14), 1610-1615. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.09.039

Buse, K., & Hawkes, S. (2014). Health post-2015: Evidence and powerThe Lancet383(9918), 678-679. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61945-5

Daruwalla, N., Chakravarty, S., Chatterji, S., Shah More, N., Alcock, G., Hawkes, S., . . . Osrin, D. (2013). Violence Against Women With Disability in Mumbai, India: A Qualitative Study. SAGE Open3(3). doi:10.1177/2158244013499144

Hawkes, S., & Buse, K. (2013). Gender and global health: Evidence, policy, and inconvenient truthsThe Lancet381(9879), 1783-1787. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60253-6

Hawkes, S. J., Hasan, A., Tawil, O., & Buse, K. (2012). Managing research evidence to inform action: influencing HIV policy to protect marginalised populations in Pakistan. Global Public Health7(5), 482-494. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2012.663778

Ross, M. W., Crisp, B., Mansson, S. A., & Hawkes, S. J. (2012). Occupational health and safety among commerical sex workersScandinavian Journal of Work and Environmental Health38(2), 105 (119 pages).  doi: 10.5271/sjweh.3184 Retrieved from:

Low, N., & Hawkes, S. J. (2011). Putting the magic in magic bullets: top three global priorities for sexually transmitted infection controlSexually Transmitted Infections87, II44-II46. doi:10.1136/sextrans-2011-050207

Church, K., de Koning, K., Hilber, A. M., Ormel, H., & Hawkes, S. (2010). Integrating sexual health services into primary care: An overview of health systems issues and challenges in developing countriesInternational Journal of Sexual Health22(3), 131-143. doi:10.1080/19317611003672823

Hawkes, S., Collumbien, M., Platt, L., Lalji, N., Rizvi, N., Andreasen, A., . . . Bokhari, A. (2009). HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among men, transgenders and women selling sex in two cities in Pakistan: a cross-sectional prevalence surveySex Transm Infect85 Suppl 2, ii8-i16. doi:10.1136/sti.2008.033910

Platt, L., Vickerman, P., Collumbien, M., Hasan, S., Lalji, N., Mayhew, S., Hawkes, S. (2009). Prevalence of HIV, HCV and sexually transmitted infections among injecting drug users in Rawalpindi and Abbottabad, Pakistan: Evidence for an emerging injection-related HIV epidemicSexually Transmitted Infections85(SUPPL. 2). doi:10.1136/sti.2008.034090

Mayhew, S., Collumbien, M., Qureshi, A., Platt, L., Rafiq, N., Faisel, A., Hawkes, S. (2009). Protecting the unprotected: Mixed-method research on drug use, sex work and rights in Pakistan's fight against HIV/AIDS. Sexually Transmitted Infections85(SUPPL. 2). doi:10.1136/sti.2008.033670

Zaheer, H. A., Hawkes, S., Buse, K., & O'Dwyer, M. (2009). STIs and HIV in Pakistan: From analysis to action. Sexually Transmitted Infections85(SUPPL. 2). doi:10.1136/sti.2009.036038

Buse, K., Lalji, N., Mayhew, S. H., Imran, M., & Hawkes, S. J. (2009). Political feasibility of scaling-up five evidenceinformed HIV interventions in Pakistan: A policy analysis. Sexually Transmitted Infections85(SUPPL. 2). doi:10.1136/sti.2008.034058

Hawkes, S. (2008). Addressing sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS, in the context of sexual healthInternational Journal of Sexual Health20(1-2), 91-108. doi:10.1080/19317610802157093

Collumbien, M., Chow, J., Qureshi, A. A., Rabbani, A., & Hawkes, S. (2008). Multiple risks among male and transgender sex workers in Pakistan. Journal of LGBT Health Research4(2-3), 71-79. doi:10.1080/15574090902913651

Hawkes, S., & Collumbien, M. (2007). What do men want? Understanding what men in South Asia want from sexual health services. International Journal of Sexual Health19(3), 53-64. doi:10.1300/J514v19n03_07

Schensul, S. L., Hawkes, S., Saggurti, N., Verma, R. K., Narvekar, S. S., Nastasi, B. K., Risbud, A. (2007). Sexually transmitted infections in men in Mumbai slum communities: The relationship of prevalence to risk behavior. Sexually Transmitted Diseases34(7), 444-450. doi:10.1097/01.olq.0000249776.92490.32

Buse, K., Martin-Hilber, A., Widyantoro, N., & Hawkes, S. J. (2006). Management of the politics of evidence-based sexual and reproductive health policy. Lancet368(9552), 2101-2103. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69837-1

Low, N., Broutet, N., Adu-Sarkodie, Y., Barton, P., Hossain, M., & Hawkes, S. (2006). Global control of sexually transmitted infections. Lancet368(9551), 2001-2016. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69482-8

Aral, SO,. Hawkes, S., Biddlecom, A., Padian, N. Disproportionate impact of sexually transmitted diseases on women. (2004). Emerg Infect Dis;10(11):2029-2030. doi:  10.3201/eid1011.040623_02

Elwy R, Hart G, Hawkes S, Petticrew M. Evidence for interventions with heterosexual men: results from a systematic review. Archives of Internal Medicine 2002;162(16):1818-1830. doi:10.1001/archinte.162.16.1818

Hawkes, S., & Hart, G. (2000). Men's sexual health matters: Promoting reproductive health in an international context. Tropical Medicine and International Health5(7). doi:10.1046/j.1365-3156.2000.00594.x

Hawkes, S., Morison, L., Foster, S., Gausia, K., Chakraborty, J., Peeling, R. W., . . . Mabey, D. (1999). Reproductive-tract infections in women in low-income, low-prevalence situations: assessment of syndromic management in Matlab, BangladeshLancet354(9192), 1776-1781. Retrieved from

Hawkes, S. (1998). Why include men? Establishing sexual health clinics for men in rural BangladeshHealth Policy and Planning 13(2):121-130. Retrieved from:

WHO Publications

Hawkes S. Investment case for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of syphilis: promoting better maternal and child health and stronger health systemsWHO, 2012

Hawkes S. Prevention and treatment of HIV and other STIs among men who have sex with men and transgender populations. WHO 2008. Retrieved from:

Aggleton P, Hawkes S, Wood KMartinHilber A. Developing sexual health programmes: framework for action. WHO 2010. Retrieved from:

Bangladesh – Developing the capacity of public health institutions to utilize research evidence (2014 – 2019) 

This programme involves evaluation of interventions for building the capacity of public health institutions and public health policy makers to use evidence for addressing non-communicable diseases, including addressing gender as a determinant, in Bangladesh. Activities include promoting Athena-SWAN type assessments of partner institutions in Bangladesh. €4 million EU funded

UK – Global seminar series on Gender and Global Health (2014 2017) 

A series of seminars and webinars have been organised in the UK, South Africa, USA, India and Nepal. The seminars are a forum for discussion on research addressing gender and health with a focus on masculinities in some settings. £30,000. ESRC funded. 

Nepal – Identifying Institutional Barriers to addressing Gender-Based Violence (2012 – 2013) 

Principal Investigator for research. This research used multidisciplinary methods including media analysis, policy analysis and qualitative in-depth interviewing. The research results were communicated to Government at national level meetings, and subsequently informed the design of future funding streams for funders and donors addressing gender-based violence in Nepal. Grant awarded £60,000 (UNFPA, UNWOMEN, UN-ESP). 

Bangladesh, India & Nepal, Understanding Violence against Marginalized Women, CREA, India (2009 – 2012)

Principal Investigator for research. A multi-disciplinary, multi-country research programme with three different research partners. Research used both quantitative and qualitative methods. Large degree of public engagement activity organized at the end of the research period in collaboration with women’s health and rights advocates across South Asia -  including hosting an international conference in Kathmandu attended by media, activists, researchers, funders and senior policy makers from across the region. Grant Awarded €137, 000 (CREA, India). 

WHO 2011 – 2013: Development of a Conceptual Framework for understanding Sexual Health

Working with WHO to liaise with HQ and Regions on development of a conceptual framework to define elements of sexual health and its relationship to reproductive health. Lancet publication on work arising has had impact on conceptual understandings of sexual health across a number of multilateral institutions. 

Pakistan, National Survey of RTI/STI/HIV (2006 – 2009)

Principal Investigator of a large, multi-disciplinary national survey with a focus on communities with high risk or vulnerability. Supervised LSHTM staff based in Pakistan, liaised with collaborating institutions, the National AIDS Control Programme and DFID and organised on-site training in social science research methods. DFID funded GBP £1.4m.