Gender, equity and human rights

Re-affirming our common humanity on Human Rights Day

Photo of female inmates in prison
WHO/Carlos Jasso

9 DECEMBER 2016 – Leaving no one behind requires a better understanding of the health experiences of the vulnerable and invisible who are more likely to experience discrimination, stigma and violations of their human rights. As we mark International Human Rights Day, WHO looks at the human faces behind health inequalities, explores why human rights are so central to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and looks to the future for the world we want.

UN human rights experts: Countries should increase support for breastfeeding, end inappropriate marketing breast-milk substitues


22 NOVEMBER 2016 – Today, UN human rights experts told countries that they need to do more to protect, promote and support breastfeeding as a human right, including ending the inappropriate marketing of breast-milk substitutes and other foods intended for infants and young children. The joint statement was issued by the UN Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Food and the Right to Health, the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice, and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

The Innov8 approach for reviewing national health programmes to leave no one behind

Training workshop in Nanggulan Health Clinic, Indonesia

21 NOVEMBER 2016 - The Innov8 Approach for Reviewing National Health Programmes to Leave No One Behind is an 8-step review process which results in recommendations to improve programme performance through concrete action to address health inequities, support gender equality and the progressive realization of universal health coverage and the right to health, and address social determinants of health.

International Day of the Girl

11 OCTOBER 2016 – Today is International Day of the Girl. On this occasion, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has released a statement calling for an increased focus on collecting and analyzing girl-focused, girl-relevant and sex-disaggregated data, and using these data to inform key policy and program decisions to adequately measure and understand the opportunities and challenges girls face, and identify and track progress towards solutions to their most pressing problems.

fact buffet

Gender1 in 3 women has experienced either physical or sexual violence from her partner;

More on gender

Equity99% of maternal deaths occur in developing countries

More on equity

Human rights100 million people globally are pushed below the poverty line every year as a result of health care expenditure

More on human rights

Quick facts about gender, equity and human rights

Watch the photo story: Snapshots of inequalities

People have vastly different stories to tell about their health depending on a variety of social determinants.

FAQ on health and sexual diversity

This FAQ defines terms, highlights key issues and underscores the UN’s commitment to gender identity and sexual diversity.

Fact sheet on gender

Gender refers to the socially constructed characteristics of women and men – such as the norms, roles and relationships that exist between them, and which impact the health outcomes of people with transgender or intersex identities.

Frequently asked questions on migration and health

Abridged version of Migration and health: Key issues, published on the Regional Office for Europe website

Innov8 approach for reviewing national health programmes

The Innov8 approach is a resource that supports the operationalization of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) commitment to “leave no one behind”.

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