Gender, equity and human rights

Landmark high-level working group puts health of women, children and adolescents at heart of human rights and development agenda

Human rights working group
WHO

NEW YORK | 22 SEPTEMBER – A landmark high-level working group launched today aims to put the health of women, children and adolescents at the heart of the global human rights and development agenda. By looking for the most innovative ways to translate human rights into a reality, the Working Group for the Health and Human Rights of Women, Children and Adolescents responds to the global call of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ‘leave no one behind’.

What do we mean by “human rights” and “gender” in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda?

JULY 2016 - The 2030 Agenda lays out an ambitious framework that paints the picture of a peaceful and prosperous world. In order to see a transformative shift in our society, we must commit to taking the bold steps outlined in each of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Addressing human rights and gender is a necessity for this. But what exactly do we mean when we talk about “human rights” and “gender” in implementing the ideals of the SDGs?

A conversation with the special rapporteurs

A water tap in a refugees camp in Darfur
UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

July 2016 - The right to health applies to every human being, regardless of his or her circumstances. This is inextricably linked to all other human rights, such as the right to safe water, sanitation and food. The intersection between these rights was brought into focus during a recent discussion between the UN Special Rapporteurs for Health, Water and Sanitation and Food. All three concurred that addressing the underlying determinants of health as part of an intersectional and human rights-based approach is key to providing basic health, food and water and sanitation services to the most destitute and marginalized within our societies.

Health and sexual diversity: The basics

The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is working towards a world that reflects equity with universal respect for human dignity, pledging to leave no one behind. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) individuals face high rates of physical and mental health issues and reduced access to medical and social services. In order to combat the dramatic health disparities faced by LGBTQI populations, we must first understand the key concepts surrounding the intersection of health with gender and sexual diversity. The attached FAQ on sexual diversity and health defines terms, highlights key issues and underscores the UN’s commitment to gender identity and sexual diversity.

fact buffet

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

More on gender

99%of maternal deaths occur in developing countries

More on equity

100 millionpeople 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.

Glossary of terms and tools

There are often misconceptions about terms related to gender. WHO has chosen to define them in the present glossary.

"Les droits économiques, sociaux et culturels"

New: Online training on economic, social and cultural rights in French from 7 November 2016. Registration open until 25 October.
Nouveau: Formation en ligne sur les droits économiques, sociaux et culturels à partir du 7 novembre prochain. Les inscriptions sont ouvertes jusqu'au 25 octobre.

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Contact us at: GER@who.int