Gender, equity and human rights

Health and gender equality

Women and men have unique health needs that must be addressed in unique ways. WHO is working for a world in which no one misses out on health services because of their gender – or for any other reason. Watch Dr Tedros' short video on health and gender equality.

WHO global health statistics systematically disaggregated by sex for the first time

Picture of a Bolivian family

5 APRIL 2019 - For the first time, this year, WHO’s Global Health Statistics have been disaggregated by sex. This new analysis has provided insights into the health and needs of people around the world. But many countries still struggle to provide gender disaggregated information. “Closing data gaps will accelerate and is important to closing the gender gap,” said Dr. Richard Cibulskis, the report’s main author. “Breaking down data by age, sex and income group is vital for understanding who is being left behind and why,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

New: International guidelines on human rights and drug policy

20 MARCH 2019 - The newly launched International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Policy are a reference tool for policy-makers, diplomats, lawyers and civil society organisations working to ensure human rights compliance in drug policy.

Ensuring the right to health of every adolescent

7 MARCH 2019 – Adolescents make up one-sixth of the world’s population. Every day, millions of adolescents, often from the most marginalized populations in society, struggle to access health services and achieve positive health outcomes. WHO’s new Handbook for Conducting an Adolescent Health Services Barriers Assessment with a Focus on Disadvantaged Adolescents outlines how governments and partners can assess health equity and barriers to services in order to identify which adolescents are being left behind, and why.

Tackling corruption in the health sector to leave no one behind

26 FEBRUARY 2019 – Anti-corruption, Transparency and Accountability measures are central components of health systems strengthening for Universal Health Coverage. They are also essential for upholding the right to health and other indivisible rights. WHO, Global Fund and UNDP have joined forces in convening the Consultation for a proposed Global Network on Anti-Corruption, Transparency and Accountability in Health Systems in Geneva.

Human rights and health

Human rights underpin much of WHO’s work, providing strategies and solutions to redress the inequalities, discriminatory practices and unjust power relations that often underlie inequitable health outcomes.

Women on the move: Migration, care work and health

A global paradox is emerging in which care workers - who are largely migrant women, often working in informal home settings - make a considerable contribution to public health in many countries but are themselves exposed to health risks, face barriers to accessing care, and enjoy few labour and social protections. WHO has produced a report to shed light on a particular population group that both provides care as well as needs it to maintain their own health and well-being.

fact buffet

GenderTo ensure that different groups of women and men, boys and girls, have equal opportunities to achieve their full health potential.

More on gender

EquityTo enhance fairness in the distribution of health across populations.

More on equity

Human rightsTo produce greater health outcomes through the advancement of the right to health and other health-related human rights.

More on human rights

Facts and features

Infographics: Health and human rights

Download infographics about standing up against human rights abuses, the right to health and more

Photo story: Snapshots of inequalities

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

Frequently asked questons on health and sexual diversity

This FAQ defines terms, highlights key issues and underscores the UN’s commitment to gender identity and sexual diversity.

Gender, equity and human rights team newsletter


Contact us at: quiroscla@who.int