Gender, equity and human rights

The World Health Organization’s presence at the 60th Commission on the Status of Women

MARCH 2016 - Women’s health was highlighted at this year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York, thanks in part to the role of the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO was involved in events and side panels addressing a broad range of issues relevant to women’s health, including non-communicable diseases (NCDs), nutrition, household energy, and post-rape care. These events notably facilitated cross-sectoral engagement on women’s health, particularly between health researchers and practitioners, women’s organizations, and civil society.

“We cannot fully empower women and girls without engaging men and boys”

8 March 2016 - International Women’s Day offers an opportunity to celebrate the progress made towards women’s empowerment and to reflect on further steps we can take to create a more gender-equal society that benefits everyone. This year’s theme, “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it up for gender equality,” calls us to address the pressing barriers that can prevent women from reaching their full potential. Michael Kimmel, Executive Director of the Centre for the Study of Men and Masculinities, joined us at WHO headquarters for a conversation on the importance of gender equality to the organization and its staff

“A ruined planet cannot sustain human lives in good health"

3 MARCH 2016 - “A ruined planet cannot sustain human lives in good health,” said WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan in her keynote address at a panel discussion on climate change and the right to health during the United Nations Human Rights Council. Delegates from United Nations Member States convened in Geneva, Switzerland for the 31st session of the Council, listening to Dr Chan’s call for a human rights-based approach that would put people’s health at the centre of the discussion on climate change, an approach that “provides an entry point for holding countries accountable for their international obligations on climate change.”

A foundation to address equity, gender and human rights in the 2030 agenda

March 2016 -- The era of the Sustainable Development Goals has begun. After years of planning, the “post-2015 agenda” is no longer just over the horizon, it is here and now. Whatever their age, gender, ethnicity or lifestyle, or where they happen to live, everyone has the right to the highest standard of health and well-being. Our task as health professionals and policy-makers is to ensure that everyone, everywhere, is included. This report highlights the advances of the global GER team over the 2014-2015 biennium, setting the foundation for our work in equity, gender and human rights central to the 2030 agenda.

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

Sustainable Development Goals

SDGs info graphic

Gender, health and the Sustainable Development Goals

Dr Veronica Magar's commentary, November 2015
"It is time to build upon hard-won accomplishments of gender and women’s health with an expanded social justice perspective."

Protecting women and children’s health with clean household energy

Representatives from a variety of international institutions convened in Washington, D.C. to develop a set of harmonized questions to assess the enhanced indicator of household energy access and health, including some that address gender impacts.

Inside the Human Rights Council

The Universal Periodic Review

Ensuring UN Member States fulfil their human rights obligations and commitments

“A ruined planet cannot sustain human lives in good health"

“We need fairness. We need justice. And we need global solidarity.” Read the WHO Director-General's keynote address to the Human Rights Council

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Contact us at: GER@who.int