Women's health


    Being a man or a woman has a significant impact on health, as a result of both biological and gender-related differences. The health of women and girls is of particular concern because, in many societies, they are disadvantaged by discrimination rooted in sociocultural factors. For example, women and girls face increased vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.

    Some of the sociocultural factors that prevent women and girls to benefit from quality health services and attaining the best possible level of health include:

    • unequal power relationships between men and women;
    • social norms that decrease education and paid employment opportunities;
    • an exclusive focus on women’s reproductive roles; and
    • potential or actual experience of physical, sexual and emotional violence.

    While poverty is an important barrier to positive health outcomes for both men and women, poverty tends to yield a higher burden on women and girls’ health due to, for example, feeding practices (malnutrition) and use of unsafe cooking fuels (COPD).


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    Latest publications

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    Committing to implementation of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016–2030)

    As part of the seventy-sixth WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY (WHA), The Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016–2030), Report...

    Addressing violence against women in pre-service health training: integrating content from the Caring for women subjected to violence curriculum

    This guide is a companion to the WHO publication Caring for women subjected to violence: a WHO curriculum for training health care providers, which consists...

    Improving the collection and use of administrative data on violence against women: 
global technical guidance

    Countries are increasingly interested in using violence against women (VAW) administrative data to understand, prevent and respond to VAW and are...

    Sexual and reproductive health and rights: infographic snapshot

    Realization of Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) requires provision of comprehensive, people-centred services, that address the different...

    Feature stories

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