The World Health Organization (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. Since its founding in 1948, WHO has been responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. [1]

Gender, Women and Health

The WHO Department of Gender, Women and Health (GWH) advocates for a global gender equality in health for women and men. Because of the way that different biological and socio-cultural factors affects the health of women and men, girls and boys differently, the GWH focus on the ways that gender, as a social construct, affects the health of both men and women. GWH aims to increase knowledge and strengthen the health sector response by gathering evidence, developing norms and standards for mainstreaming gender in health policies and programmes, strengthening capacity and engaging in advocacy on how gender and gender inequality affect health. [2]

An integral part of WHO focus on gender issues is the gender mainstreaming strategy which has four key strategic directions: build WHO capacity for gender analysis and planning; bring gender into the mainstream of WHO's management; promote the use of sex-disaggregated data and gender analysis; and establish accountability. [3]