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.

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Day 3 highlights: agreement on women’s health strategy and action plans for HIV and viral hepatitis

Dr Margaret Chan welcomed the WHO Regional Committee for Europe’s adoption of a European strategy for women’s health as well as action plans for both HIV and viral hepatitis in her plenary address, affirming the WHO European Region’s position at the forefront of global health developments.

Women’s health report

Beyond the mortality advantage. Investigating women’s health in Europe

The report has been developed to inform discussion at the technical briefing on women’s health to be held during the 65th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in Vilnius, Lithuania, 14–17 September 2015

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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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Data and statistics

•Survey data from several countries in the Region show that women in all countries are subject to violence by their intimate partners. In the European Region (EU), 1 in 5 women have been victims of domestic violence.

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