Gender, equity and human rights

Equal access. Equal rights. Always.

Two young girls with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.
WHO/Joanna Vogel

Health outcomes are not equal for people throughout the world, both across and within countries. Many of these disparities –due to underlying social determinants—are avoidable and unacceptable. The Gender, Equity and Human Rights team works to address these disparities (caused by gender inequalities, inequities and lack of human rights-based approaches) to ensure better health for all.

Gender, equity and rights strategy: a Roadmap for action

Illustration extracted from Roadmap for action

The Roadmap for Action describes how the integration of equity, human rights, gender and social determinants will be rolled out, including strategic milestones. A companion document, the Unifying Framework Guide explains what integration of WHO core values and approaches means and provides illustrative examples. The Roadmap for Action is expected to be adjusted in synchrony with WHO’s management cycle, i.e., the next adjustments will be in early 2016.

State of inequality: Reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health

The report delivers both promising and disappointing messages about the situation in low- and middle-income countries. Within-country inequalities have narrowed, with a tendency for national improvements driven by faster improvements in disadvantaged subgroups.
However, inequalities still persist in most reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health indicators. The extent of within-country inequality differed by dimension of inequality and by country, country income group and geographical region. There is still much progress to be made in reducing inequalities in RMNCH.

Top ten issues for women's health

Indian women
WHO/SEARO/Anubhav Das

8 March 2015 – International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women, but also a day to take stock of how women’s rights are fulfilled worldwide, especially the right to health. Progress has been made 20 years after commitments were made in Beijing to the Declaration and Platform for Action, but women still face many health challenges.


fact buffet

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


99%of maternal deaths occur in developing countries


100 millionpeople globally are pushed below the poverty line every year as a result of health care expenditure

Human rights

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

WHO is committed to ensure improvements in physical, mental and social well-being are enjoyed by all people everywhere, without discrimination.

We appreciate your visit to the Gender, Equity and Human Rights website. Plans are in development to have the site available in WHO's other official languages.