Promoting health through the life-course

What is the Global Strategy?

The Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, 2016-2030

The Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030) envisions a world in which every woman, child and adolescent in every setting realizes their rights to physical and mental health and well-being, has social and economic opportunities, and is able to participate fully in shaping prosperous and sustainable societies.

Global strategy 2016-2030 cover

Updated with the latest scientific evidence through a process of collaboration with stakeholders led by WHO, the Strategy builds on the success of the UN Secretary-General’s 2010 strategy, which helped accelerate the achievement of the health-related Millennium Development Goals, and the accompanying Every Woman Every Child movementwhich is a a platform to put women, children and adolescents at the heart of the new Sustainable Development Goals.

The Global Strategy is intended to inspire political leaders and policy-makers to further accelerate their work to improve the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents. It is also intended as a guide to enable people and communities to drive change, claim their rights and hold leaders to account. The Global Strategy was developed through an extensive consultation process involving governments, civil society, the private sector, UN agencies, and other constituencies. More than 7,000 individuals, organizations, and government representatives participated in the consultations during the World Health Assembly, through face-to-face and online consultations, as well as through the development of evidence-based background papers.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization

#EWECisme: Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus

“Universal health coverage is the centre of gravity of global health – but women, children and adolescent health is the centre of gravity of universal health coverage!”

“Regular monitoring and accountability are vital to assess progress and to assure that all people at all ages are getting the quality care they need for their health and well-being. We must find where gaps exist and act to ensure universal health coverage. If we collectively invest the amount that is needed, we can save and improve the lives of millions of women, children and adolescents by 2030.”

Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations

#EWECisme: Antonio Guterres, UNSG


“In a time of complex development challenges, the investments we make today in women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and well-being will help build the peaceful, sustainable and inclusive societies we have promised to achieve through the Sustainable Development Goals.”


High-Level Steering Group for Every Woman Every Child

Following the launch of the Global Strategy, the Secretary-General established a High-level Steering Group for Every Woman Every Child to help provide leadership and inspire ambitious action for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health.

The group is co-chaired by H.E. Ms Michelle Bachelet Jeria, President of the Republic of Chile, and H.E. Mr Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and two alternate co-chairs, H.E. Ms Tarja Halonen, former President of the Republic of Finland, and H.E. Mr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania. The group involves leaders from governments, the private sector, civil society, philanthropists, young people and the multilateral system. The full membership of the group and their biographies can be downloaded below.

The High-Level Steering Group has identified seven areas of focus to champion in their work:

  • early child development
  • adolescent health
  • quality, equity, dignity in health services
  • sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • empowerment
  • humanitarian and fragile settings
  • financing

Working Group on the Health and Human Rights of Women, Children and Adolescents

The Working Group on the Health and Human Rights of Women, Children and Adolescents was established by WHO and OHCHR in 2016 to identify practical recommendations to better operationalize human rights to achieve the targets in the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030). H.E. Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland and Ms Hina Jilani of the Elders were the co-chairs of the working group.

The Working Group launched its report and recommendations at the World Health Assembly (WHA), as well as at the Human Rights Council (HRC) in June 2017 – the first report of its kind to be formally considered by both WHA and HRC.

The Working Group report makes the case that the health of these populations can only be improved if human rights are upheld, and if there is strong political will and leadership. The report has nine recommendations aimed primarily at countries under three headings: 1) create an enabling environment; 2) partner with people; and 3) strengthen evidence and public accountability.