Gender, equity and human rights

Photo story: Health and human rights in Panama

No one controls the hand they are dealt in life but health policies and programmes can help ensure no one is left behind. Everyone—no matter what situation they are born into, live, work or play in—is entitled to the right to health. This photo story highlights the inequities in terms of access to and quality of health care that exist between populations in Panama, some often only several kilometres away from each other.

Human Rights Day 2015

On December 10th, WHO joins the international community in observing Human Rights Day. Human rights are of particular importance in public health as they underpin good health outcomes and inform the work behind the progress towards Universal health coverage. Human rights-based approaches to health help ensure that policies and programmes are accessible by and responsive to the needs of all of those for whom they are designed. Today, we celebrate the launch of the Special Issue of the Harvard-based FXB Health and Human Rights Journal, guest-edited by Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General, which touches on this very issue and asks the question: How can rights contribute to better health?

Anchoring universal health coverage in the right to health: What difference would it make?

Universal health coverage (UHC) is a critical component of the new Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 3 which calls for ensuring healthy lives for all. Making progress towards UHC truly universal involves anchoring it in the right to health in order to provide coverage to all people, including vulnerable and marginalized individuals. The policy brief “Anchoring universal health coverage in the right to health: What difference would it make?” examines the gaps that exist between the efforts to realize the right to health and the efforts towards achieving UHC. Addressing these gaps would unmask exclusions and ensure policies are devised to allow all individuals to be included in the health system and fulfil the human right to health.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: Strengthening the medico-legal response to sexual violence

25 November 2015 - Coinciding with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and kicking off the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, WHO has launched a toolkit to strengthen the medico-legal response to sexual violence in low-resource and conflict-affected settings. Women face a pervasive risk of violence, with estimates suggesting that 1 in 3 women globally will experience intimate partner and/or sexual violence by non-partners in their lifetime. A multi-sectoral approach to prevent and respond to this issue is key to achieving assistance and justice for victims of violence and ensuring the health and integrity of all women and girls everywhere.

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

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."

Protecting women and children’s health with clean household energy

Representatives from a variety of international institutions convened in Washington, D.C. to develop a set of harmonized questions to assess the enhanced indicator of household energy access and health, including some that address gender impacts.

Snapshot of inequalities

Woman in a field

People have vastly different stories to tell about their health depending on a variety of social determinants.

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