Sexual and reproductive health

Advocacy and high-level events

Sexual and reproductive health and rights at the sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women

13 March 2017: New York, USA The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The sixty-first session of the Commission takes place at the UN Headquarters in New York, and runs from the 13th to 24th March 2017.

Landmark working group on the health and human rights of women, children and adolescents meets in Geneva

13 February 2017 | Geneva. A group of champions and experts met in Geneva last week to reaffirm the urgency of putting human rights at the heart of global efforts to improve the health of women, children and adolescents – including the poorest, and those living in conflict zones and as refugees.

Working together to address HIV prevention in eastern and southern Africa

1-3 February 2017: Windhoek, Namibia | A three-day consultation, co-convened by WHO, HRP, UNAIDS, USAID and PEPFAR and hosted by the Ministry of Health took place to consider how to move forward on the issue of HIV prevention for adolescent girls and young women in the context of and sexual and reproductive health and rights. The event was attended by over 180 participants representing ministries of health, civil societies, donors and UN agencies from 12 countries from eastern and southern Africa. The First Lady of Namibia, Monica Geingos, as well as the Minister of Health and Social services, Dr Bernard Haufiku, were strong leaders of the meeting and played an influential role on the discussions.

Parliamentarians from across the globe commit to addressing human rights issues

23-27 October 2016: Geneva, Switzerland At the 135th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly, parliamentarians from across the globe declared their commitment to alerting attention to serious human rights challenges and taking action, particularly during conflict situations.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights at the 71st United Nations General Assembly

13-26 September 2016: UN Headquarters, New York, USA. The priority areas of work for the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research which includes HRP, are under discussion at a number of sessions throughout this year’s UN General Assembly. More information about discussions pertinent to issues of sexual and reproductive health and rights will be posted here throughout the General Assembly’s duration.

First World Humanitarian Summit held in the 70 year history of the United Nations

23-24 May 2016 | Istanbul, Turkey. The World Humanitarian Summit marked a major shift in how the international community prevents human suffering by preparing for and responding to crises. At the Summit, world leaders stood firm in expressing their responsibilities to the world’s people, by committing to take forward the United Nations Secretary-General’s Agenda for Humanity, which charts a course for change.

Reproductive Health and Research at WHO’s 69th World Health Assembly

The secretariat of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research including HRP (RHR/ HRP) will be taking an active part in this year’s assembly through a variety of key events and discussions. This page includes some of the agenda items which highlight WHO’s work on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Giving ‘voice to youth’ – WHO attends 134th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Zambia

19-23 March | LUSAKA. In its position as an Official Observer, and represented by Ian Askew, the Director of WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research including HRP (RHR/HRP), WHO is attending the 134th General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Lusaka, Zambia – a meeting which convenes parliamentarians from around the world to address critical and current issues.

WHO Executive Board. 138th Session

25–30 January 2016: The 138th WHO Executive Board discussed a number of issues relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Of particular interest this year were the discussions on the draft Global plan of action on violence; the draft renewed Strategies on STIs, HIV and hepatitis; and the Global strategy for women's children's and adolescents' health.

The fourth International Conference on Family planning

25-28 January 2016: Nusa Dua, Indonesia WHO, HRP and the IBP Initiative gave and co-sponsored close to 40 panels, talks and side-events, at the 4th International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) in Indonesia. These presented the latest in policy, guidelines and research to improve access to contraceptives by all, including the most marginalized and vulnerable populations. The conference bought together more than 3,500 attendees who included global leaders, policy makers, researchers and advocates from around the world.

International Forum on Countdown to 2015 – progress in maternal and child survival in China

26-27 October 2015: The Director of WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research, Dr Marleen Temmerman, attended the International Forum on Countdown to 2015 – progress in maternal and child survival in China, held in Beijing, on behalf of the World Health Organization.

WHO Director General makes historic address to 133rd Inter-parliamentary Union Assembly

19th October 2015: For the first time, WHO Director General Dr Margaret Chan will address the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) at the 133rd IPU Assembly, in Geneva, Switzerland. This historic moment builds on the existing collaboration between WHO and IPU to improve the health of populations worldwide, and follows the recent launch of the Sustainable Development Goals and the new Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights at the 70th United Nations General Assembly

This year’s General Assembly sees the end of the Millennium Development Goals, and the launch of the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Alongside the inauguration of these new Global Goals, the event also marks the launch of the new Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, a fifteen-year roadmap for ending preventable deaths and improving health of women, children and adolescents.

Particpants at the panel discussion on increasing sexual violence and maternal mortality in humanitarian settings.

Seeking Justice: the human rights council and woman and girls affected by conflict

16 September 2015: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND. Marleen Temmerman, Director of WHO RHR including HRP participated in a panel discussion on increasing sexual violence and maternal mortality in humanitarian settings. Accountability was at the heart of these discussions, attended by high-level representatives of countries and organizations, including a keynote from Her Royal Highness Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan.

The Ninth Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa Conference (SCCA)

19 – 21 July 2015: Nairobi, Kenya. WHO Representatives joined distinguished delegates from across Africa and the globe at the Ninth Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa Conference (SCCA), which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, to address the unacceptably high mortality rate for cervical, breast and prostate cancer in Africa.

Third International Conference on Financing for Development

13-16 July 2015: ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA Marleen Temmerman, Director of WHO RHR including HRP attended this important meeting which saw UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon launch the Global Financing Facility in support of the global Every Woman, Every Child movement. The investment provided by this historic mechanism will help to support the implementation of the renewed Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health. WHO Director General, Dr Margaret Chan also spoke about the potential of Universal Health Coverage to improve people’s access to health-care.

A group photo of the young parliamentarians attending the IPU conference.

Inter-Parliamentary Union global conference of young parliamentarians: democracy, peace and prosperity

27 - 28 May 2015: TOKYO, JAPAN. Dr. V. Chandra-Mouli spoke on behalf of WHO RHR /HRP to engage young parliamentarians to advocate for laws and policies to help improve the health of adolescents. The conference brought together 187 young parliamentarians from 68 countries, and the average age of the parliamentarians attending the conference was 35.5 years.

Philippines, Senegal and Uruguay honoured for progress towards universal access for reproductive health

May 21 2015. US MISSION, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - Three countries – Philippines, Senegal, and Uruguay – were honoured by the 2015 Resolve Award, which celebrates progress made by governments towards achieving the promise of universal access to reproductive health.

Call to Action for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health

14-15 May 2015 – GREENTREE, USA. Marleen Temmerman, Director of WHO RHR/ HRP, attended a Senior Leader’s retreat hosted by the UN Secretary-General, to help call on global and country leaders to champion the renewed Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health in the lead-up to the Sustainable Development Goals summit, to take place in September 2015. The Every Woman Every Child global initiative has launched a new social campaign at the event: #EWECisME

Stakeholders' Consultation on the Renewed Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health

05 – 07 May 2015: JOHANNESBURG. WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research including HRP have jointly convened a Stakeholders’ Consultation with partners on the Renewed Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent’s Health. Representatives from the Department are attending the meeting to lead on technical content for the renewed Global Strategy. Leaders, public health experts and youth from both Africa and worldwide are also attending.

“She Matters” – WHO engages with G7 / 20 Parliamentarians to advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights

16-17 April 2015: WHO attended the meeting in recognition of the key role that Parliamentarians can play to help prioritize sexual and reproductive health and rights within the international development agenda, and to engage parliamentarians in reproductive and sexual health and rights issues.

‘Realizing the Future We Want’: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights at this year’s Commission on Population and Development

13 – 17 April 2015: NEW YORK, USA. Representatives from WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research including HRP attended the Commission, which brings together United Nations Agencies and Member States, along with over 700 representatives from Civil Society Organizations from across the globe.

Women’s and children’s health at the 132nd Inter-parliamentary Union Assembly

28 March – 1 April 2015: Hanoi, Viet Nam WHO is an official observer at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), which is hosting its 132nd General Assembly in Hanoi, Viet Nam from 28 March to 1 April 2015. The Geneva-based IPU is the largest organization of its kind, and this year’s assembly in Hanoi brings together representatives from 166 parliaments.

59th Commission on the Status of Women takes place in New York

9 -20 March 2015: NEW YORK, USA. Governments made statements to reflect on progress made for gender equality and to commemorate the Beijing Declaration of 1995. Governments pledged to take concrete steps and to boost efforts towards progress, through six specific strategies: strengthen implementation of laws; bolster institutions vital to women’s empowerment; transform discriminatory norms and stereotypes; close resource gaps; boost accountability; and enhance capacities and data to track progress.