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




Women in the WHO European Region have better health than those in most countries of the world, but inequities are increasing for men and women within and between countries in the Region. Inequities not only create health consequences, but also social and economic costs. They cannot be reduced without investing in girls and women, but more knowledge is needed on their causes to inform policies and interventions. The WHO Regional Office for Europe is currently investigating the main health issues for women in the Region, including variations in health among those of different ages and the influence of gender and social determinants across their lives. This brief report presents some of the preliminary findings of the investigation, focusing on broad causes of mortality and morbidity during four age stages – the girl child, adolescents, adult women and older women – and emphasizing how factors that influence health cut across the stages. It shows how gender and socioeconomic determinants affect opportunities for girls and women in the Region to realize their right to health and well-being across the life-course and provides a basis for prioritizing actions for all sectors of governments and societies.