Development of a European regional strategy on women’s health

Women in the WHO European Region have better health than those in most countries of the world, but inequities are increasing both between and within countries in the Region. Inequities have not only consequences for health, but also social and economic costs. They cannot be reduced without investing in girls and women, but more knowledge is needed on the cause of the inequities to inform policies and interventions.

At the technical briefing on women's health held at the 65th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe, Dr Gauden Galea, Director of the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health through the Life-course, announced the start of the development of the European regional strategy on women's health in consultation with Member States and partners. The strategy will be informed by evidence on the health status of women and will go beyond the reproductive health needs of women and emphasize the life-course approach.

A summary of the evidence gathered until now in "Beyond the mortality advantage" was presented during the briefing. The preliminary findings show that factors influencing health cut across all life stages – girls, adolescents, adult women and older women. It shows how gender and socioeconomic determinants affect opportunities for girls and women to realize their right to health and well-being across the life-course.