Sexual and reproductive health

How human rights help ensure high-quality contraceptive services

Haydee Lemus/Photoshare

26 September 2017: World Contraception Day | Recognition that human rights are of critical importance in the design and provision of contraceptive services and programmes is growing. How healthcare providers and facility managers ensure that human rights aspects are integrated into services is a challenge with many dimensions including the right of access to high-quality contraceptive services, autonomy and a choice of methods as well as the respectful provision of care. It is currently estimated that some 214 million women have an unmet need for modern contraception.

Gender inequality in early adolescence must be addressed for health and well-being throughout life

Group of adolescents in Bangladesh.
Ricci Coughlan/DFID

20 September 2017: When children move into early adolescence, they begin to take on new gender roles associated with femininity and masculinity, often reinforcing socially and culturally conventional gender norms related with being women or men. These gender roles have an impact upon the decisions that young people in early adolescence make, and therefore upon their health and well-being. They have an impact on the choices young adolescents make in relation to sexual and inter-personal relationships, which can have an effect on their health and well-being throughout the rest of their lives.

New programme reporting standards for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health programmes

Mother and child resting at postnatal ward, Cambodia.
WHO/WPRO/Y Shimizu

14 September 2017 | Reporting on health programmes often covers what was done and not how it was done and in what context. This information is key to understanding impact and can facilitate successful replication and scale-up. To address this, WHO is launching new standards for reporting on sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health programmes at this year’s Global Evidence Summit in Cape Town, South Africa.

Shining a spotlight on maternal and neonatal sepsis: World Sepsis Day 2017

In the labour ward of a hospital in Bangladesh, a doctor examines a pregnant woman before her delivery.
Ismail Ferdous/Photoshare

12 September 2017 | On the eve of World Sepsis Day 2017, WHO and HRP have joined with the Global Sepsis Alliance to host the ‘World Sepsis Congress Spotlight: Maternal and Neonatal Sepsis’, a free online congress shining a spotlight on these neglected aspects of sepsis.

WHO and HRP celebrate World Sexual Health Day

4 September 2017: Sexual health is fundamental to all people’s health and happiness. When we can enjoy good sexual health, it has a positive impact on many aspects of our lives including our reproductive health and well-being. This in turn has a positive impact on our societies and countries. On the occasion of World Sexual Health Day, WHO and HRP are launching a new WHO framework for operationalizing sexual health and its linkages to reproductive health. This new model highlights the many areas where people’s sexual health must be safeguarded throughout the course of their lives – as well as the way in which sexual health and reproductive health are at once distinct and inextricably linked.

Engaging with youth for the promotion of peace

12 August 2017 | This year's International Youth Day takes the theme of “Youth Building Peace”.
Today’s generation of youth (defined by the UN as persons aged 18 through 29) is the largest the world has ever known and as such will have a major role in shaping the world of tomorrow. To this end, youth need to be actively engaged and invited to participate in the design and development of research and programmes that affect them. This was recognised by the UN Security Council in its 2015 resolution urging Member States to increase representation of youth in decision-making at all levels. Whilst the resolution focused primarily on global security, it is equally relevant for health.

Scientists warn that antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea is on the rise

image of youth in park
WHO /Sergey Volkov

07 July 2017 | Every day, more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections are acquired worldwide, and each year an estimated 78 million people are infected with gonorrhoea . New data from 77 countries show that antibiotic resistance is making gonorrhoea much harder – and sometimes impossible – to treat.

Countries need to do what works to improve contraceptive access, provision and choice for women and girls

Image of three adolescent girls jumping and smilling in a park, Russia.
WHO /Sergey Volkov

11 July 2017 | Women and girls have a human right to choose whether and when to become pregnant. When they do not have access to high quality contraceptive and fertility care services and information to help them plan their families, their health and well-being can suffer.

Research

ZIKA

Women in the context of microcephaly and Zika virus disease

The risk of babies born with microcephaly has raised understandable concerns among women including those who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. There are many unknowns regarding the possible causes of microcephaly.

Statements

In the changing landscape of sexual and reproductive health and rights, research and evidence needs to be heard

The promotion, protection and fulfilment of sexual and reproductive health and rights

  • Read Statement
    pdf, 55kb

    Statement by the HRP Scientific Technical and Advisory Group and the Gender and rights Advisory Panel

Partnerships and initiatives

African woman with her two children.

Reproductive Health Library (RHL)

RHL takes the best available evidence on sexual and reproductive health from Cochrane systematic reviews and presents it as practical actions for clinicians (and policy-makers) to improve health outcomes, especially in developing countries.

VIDEO

WHO Director General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus has recorded a special video message to call for greater measures to be taken to improve recognition, diagnosis and treatment of sepsis, and particularly maternal and neonatal sepsis.

Search WHO guidelines on sexual and reproductive health

Stay informed

WHO HRP News
Monthly electronic newsletter of new publications, research articles and events from the Department of Reproductive Health and Research.