Norway: New White Paper - Investing in Women's health pays off

Norwegian-led research project to identify economic benefits of investing in women’s health

15 FEBRUARY 2012 - Norway launched a new research project aimed to identify economic benefits of investing in women’s health as well as the first white paper on global health outlining Norway’s ambitions in this field: the Norwegian Government White Paper on Global Health. The white paper also examines the links between domestic policy and foreign policy.

The White Paper was launched in Norway by three Norwegian Secretaries of State (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre, Minister of Environment and Development, Erik Solheim and Minister of Health and Care Services, Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen) alongside the Director General of the World Health Assembly, Dr Margaret Chan and former Prime Minister of Norway and DG of WHO, Gro Harlem Brundtland with other invited international and national guests from a broad group of global health actors.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre commented, “A number of studies show that promoting women’s health, education and employment has positive ripple effects for whole families and communities. However, more research is needed on how investment in women’s health contributes to economic growth. This is why we have launched this new research project.”

Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women, Gro Harlem Brundtland, and Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General Secretary of World YMCA, have so far joined the project’s reference group, which will be led by Mr Støre. Key partners include representatives of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Lancet, the UN, WHO and the World Bank. The project will last 18 months, with the results published in The Lancet.

“Efforts to strengthen global health must be promoted not only by health ministers, but also by all those responsible for foreign, climate, environmental, development and finance policy,” said Mr Støre.

Norway allocates nearly NOK 3 billion a year to global health initiatives over the aid budget. The white paper indicates where Norwegian efforts can make a particular difference.

Seminar: The Role of Women and Women’s Health in Economic Development

The launch was followed by a seminar, The Role of Women and Women’s Health in Economic Development. Full agenda can be downloaded on the right.