About WHO

Family, Women, Children and Adolescents

The Family, Women, Children and Adolescents Cluster addresses the health needs of vulnerable populations at all stages of life - from pregnancy, birth, childhood, adolescence, through adulthood to older age.

Mission and vision

The Cluster aims to enhance health across the life-course by helping countries and partners to identify, develop, implement and evaluate approaches and interventions that foster good health and thereby contribute to human development. The outcome will be better health across the life-course.


The Cluster works with countries and other partners to:

  • ensure that women at all ages enjoy the best possible health; and that women and men attain the highest possible level of sexual and reproductive health;
  • reduce newborn mortality and promote the health of children and adolescents through protection, prevention and treatment of major causes of disease and death; and
  • foster the health and social engagement of older people through health promotion, primary, long-term and palliative health care and the creation of supportive environments.

It also works for a world in which:

  • pregnancy and childbirth are safe for all women and their infants are born alive and healthy
  • infants are assured a healthy start to life
  • children develop their full potential
  • adolescents are empowered to contribute to their health and grow and develop in a safe and supportive environment
  • women and men lead healthy lives, particularly as it relates to sexual and reproductive health
  • all people at risk are protected against vaccine-preventable disease
  • countries meet the challenges and realize the potential benefits of their ageing populations.

The cluster also hosts the Gender, Equity and Human Rights (GER) Team, which catalyses, supports and coordinates institutional mainstreaming of equity, gender, human rights and social determinants of health at all levels of WHO.

Departments and Teams

Ageing and Life Course (ALC)
Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals (IVB)
Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (MCA)
Reproductive Health and Research (RHR)
Gender, equity and human rights (GER)


Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH)
Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP)

A portrait of two women and a child


Family, Women, Children and Adolescents
World Health Organization
20 Avenue Appia
1211 Geneva 27

E-mail: mediainquiries@who.int