Gender

Women and men differ in biology, the roles and responsibilities that society assigns to them and their positions in the family and community. This affects the risk they take, those they are exposed to, their efforts to improve their health, and how the health system responds to their needs. It may also have implications for the causes, consequences and management of disease and ill health. Gender-based values and social and cultural norms and stereotypes that are discriminatory may also translate into practices that affect health and well-being.

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Top story

Breakthrough for men’s health: WHO and experts kick off development of strategy and report

For the first time, WHO is undertaking a strategy entirely focused on the health and well-being of men and boys. A group of experts from a range of fields and disciplines related to men’s health came together on 5 September 2017 at UN City in Copenhagen, Denmark, to launch the development of the strategy for the WHO European Region.

Women’s health report

Women’s health and well-being in Europe: beyond the mortality advantage (2016)

Women’s health is at a crossroads. Countries endorsed global efforts to advance women’s health by adopting the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development and are taking them forward through the Sustainable Development Goals and the global strategy for women, children and adolescents’ health.

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Gender: definitions

Gender is used to describe the characteristics of women and men that are socially constructed, while sex refers to those that are biologically determined. People are born female or male, but learn to be girls and boys who grow into women and men. This learned behaviour makes up gender identity and determines gender roles. The WHO gender policy 2002 defines the terms below.

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