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.
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.
16 December 2016 - WHO has launched a set of fact sheets which disaggregate existing data to highlight key information on the use and non-use of contraceptives by adolescents (ages 15-19) in 58 low and middle-income countries across the world.
11 October 2016: The theme of this year’s International Day of the Girl is based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and central to the achievement of all of these goals is gender equity. Building equitable gender norms will enable girls to grow and develop to their full potential. This is an important goal in itself and also contributes to achieving other goals.
Too often, however, early adolescence is a period of increased expectation for girls and boys to adhere to stereotypical norms and it is these norms that help to perpetuate gender inequality. A recent review of existing research reveals that young adolescents commonly express stereotypical or inequitable gender attitudes. These inequitable attitudes contribute to harmful behaviours and related poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes.
22 August 2016: New research published today shows that there are number of intervention studies which can help to improve health outcomes in young people (ages 10-24), but there is no single action or intervention which can work for all young people, to address all of their needs. While several high-quality studies were found, they may only be applicable in specific settings for specific outcomes. More evidence is needed to show whether they can apply to other settings or help to improve additional sexual and reproductive health outcomes for young people.
7-28 March 2016 - Online survey - To support planning, implementation and monitoring of a SURVIVE, THRIVE and TRANSFORM response to the health needs of adolescents in line with Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030) and its Operational Framework, WHO and partners are developing a Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (the Global AA-HA! Framework). Comments are now sought for initial inputs into the Framework, from representatives of government, civil society, the private sector, academia, youth groups, and from individual citizens. The online survey is open from 7-28 March 2016.
Strategic areas of work
- Addressing the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents
- Overcoming barriers to adolescent health education and services
- Very young adolescents
- More on adolescent health