Gender, equity and human rights

What do we mean by “human rights” and “gender” in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda?

JULY 2016 - The 2030 Agenda lays out an ambitious framework that paints the picture of a peaceful and prosperous world. In order to see a transformative shift in our society, we must commit to taking the bold steps outlined in each of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Addressing human rights and gender is a necessity for this. But what exactly do we mean when we talk about “human rights” and “gender” in implementing the ideals of the SDGs?

A conversation with the special rapporteurs

A water tap in a refugees camp in Darfur
UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

July 2016 - The right to health applies to every human being, regardless of his or her circumstances. This is inextricably linked to all other human rights, such as the right to safe water, sanitation and food. The intersection between these rights was brought into focus during a recent discussion between the UN Special Rapporteurs for Health, Water and Sanitation and Food. All three concurred that addressing the underlying determinants of health as part of an intersectional and human rights-based approach is key to providing basic health, food and water and sanitation services to the most destitute and marginalized within our societies.

Health and sexual diversity: The basics

The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is working towards a world that reflects equity with universal respect for human dignity, pledging to leave no one behind. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) individuals face high rates of physical and mental health issues and reduced access to medical and social services. In order to combat the dramatic health disparities faced by LGBTQI populations, we must first understand the key concepts surrounding the intersection of health with gender and sexual diversity. The attached FAQ on sexual diversity and health defines terms, highlights key issues and underscores the UN’s commitment to gender identity and sexual diversity.

The right to health for everyone, no matter where people live or travel

20 JUNE 2016 - There are an estimated 60 million refugees or internally displaced persons worldwide. Their circumstances vary greatly, from those temporarily displaced by conflict or natural disasters to those who spend years in camps or urban areas far from home. Today on World Refugee Day, we reflect on the pressing issues faced by this population who is too often left behind. While becoming a refugee changes many things, it does not change the human right to the highest attainable standard of health and well-being.

fact buffet

1 in 3women has experienced either physical or sexual violence from her partner;

More on gender

99%of maternal deaths occur in developing countries

More on equity

100 millionpeople globally are pushed below the poverty line every year as a result of health care expenditure

More on human rights

Sustainable Development Goals

SDGs info graphic

Global strategy for women's, children's and adolescents' health (2016-2030)

Making progress towards the Strategy's objectives, which are driven by a strong emphasis on gender and human rights, can secure a healthy and transformative future for all women, children and adolescents in the era of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Gender, health and the Sustainable Development Goals

Dr Veronica Magar's commentary, November 2015
"It is time to build upon hard-won accomplishments of gender and women’s health with an expanded social justice perspective."

We appreciate your visit to the Gender, Equity and Human Rights website. Plans are in development to have the site available in WHO's other official languages.


Contact us at: GER@who.int