Sexual and reproductive health

Strengthening the health-systems response to violence against women

21 November 2014 - Every single day, women and girls across the world face violence. According to a new series co-authored by WHO, which is published in The Lancet today, efforts must be dramatically stepped up to address this global problem – which includes intimate partner violence, rape, female genital mutilation, trafficking, and forced marriage, and which has serious consequences for victims’ physical and mental health. The new WHO clinical handbook, Health care for women subjected to intimate partner violence or sexual violence, to be published online for field-testing on 24 November, will provide practical information to health-care providers, to accelerate progress towards tackling this issue.

Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence

Three girls pose in a classroom in a village near Jodhpur, India.
Rose Reis/Photoshare

11 October is the UN International Day of the Girl Child. This year’s theme is “Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence”. Adolescence is a critical period that can determine the trajectory of girls’ lives. It is a stage at which key investments and support can set girls on a path towards empowerment, or when discrimination, recurrent constraints, harmful practices, and violence can send them down a negative spiral with lifelong consequences, not just for themselves, but for societies and future generations.

Raising awareness of the global problem of preterm birth

A mother performs kangaroo care, or skin-to-skin contact, with her premature baby
Gates Foundation

17 November 2014: World Prematurity Day - WHO will join thousands of people worldwide in marking this year’s World Prematurity Day. Every year, an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm. This is more than one in 10 babies – and these numbers are rising. The annual event, which takes place across the world, brings people together to raise awareness of the global problem of preterm birth, which is the leading cause of death globally in children under the age of five. WHO is committed to preventing and reducing the health problems and lives lost as a result of preterm birth.

Eliminating forced, coercive and otherwise involuntary sterilization

Among other contraceptive methods, sterilization is an important option for individuals and couples to control their fertility. When performed according to appropriate clinical standards with informed consent, sterilization methods such as vasectomy and tubal ligation are safe and effective means of permanently controlling fertility. Laws, regulations, policies and practices should ensure that the provision of procedures resulting in sterilization is based on the full, free and informed decision-making of the person concerned.


WHO and ICPD beyond 2014

Contributing to redefining the global agenda in sexual and reproductive health and an opportunity for the global community to address remaining challenges.

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WHO and partners programmes UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, and the World Bank work together as the H4+ in a joint effort to improve the health of women and children and accelerate progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 (reducing child mortality) and 5 (improving maternal health).

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Reproductive Health Library

RHL takes the best available evidence on sexual and reproductive health from Cochrane systematic reviews and presents it as practical actions for clinicians (and policy-makers) to improve health outcomes, especially in developing countries.

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