World health organization

Celebrating 100 years of achievements for women and health

An elderly woman reading with a young girl, El Salvador
WHO/UNICEF/D. Budd-Gray

Achievement 2: empowering women through education

Over the last 100 years, completion of primary, secondary and tertiary education has increased dramatically around the world for women and girls. Studies show that when women are given equal access to education (both enrolment and completion), significant health benefits follow. Some examples are decreased fertility rates, increased birth spacing, timely and appropriate health seeking behaviour, treatment adherence, reduced tobacco and alcohol consumption rates and, for women with secondary school and above, fewer experiences with sexual and gender-based violence.

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