9 November 2009 | Geneva – Despite considerable progress in the past decades, societies continue to fail to meet the health care needs of women at key moments of their lives, particularly in their adolescent years and in older age, a WHO report has found. Launching the report, entitled Women and health: today’s evidence tomorrow’s agenda, WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan called for urgent action both within the health sector and beyond to improve the health and lives of girls and women around the world, from birth to older age. “If women are denied a chance to develop their full human potential, including their potential to lead healthier and at least somewhat happier lives, is society as a whole really healthy? What does this say about the state of social progress in the 21st century?” asked Dr Chan.
- Women provide the bulk of health care, but rarely receive the care they need
- Women live longer than men but these extra years are not always healthy
- Despite some biological advantages, women’s health suffers from their lower socio-economic status
- Policy change and action is needed within the health sector and beyond
Adapted from World Health Organization Media Center.