Gender, Women's Health and Ageing: Topics


The  Gender, Women's Health and Ageing programme consists of the following areas/components:

Healthy ageing

More people in the African Region are living longer lives. Estimated at 43 million in 2010, the number of people aged 60 years and older in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to reach 67 million by 2025 and 163 million by 2050. Ageing is becoming a major challenge as it increases the demand for a variety of health services as a growing number of older people are living with chronic diseases and disability.

Social aspects of family and reproductive health programme including harmful traditional practices.

In order to continue to eliminate harmful traditional practices, especially female genital mutilation, a wide range of technical support to several countries and institutions has been provided by WHO.

Female genital mutilation, which involves partial or total removal of the female external genitalia by cutting, burning or scraping, is inflicted on more than 2 million girls between the ages of 4 and 12 years. It is estimated that about 12 million girls between the ages of 10 and 14 years have had sequels of female genital mutilation.

Women's Health

Gender inequity, poverty among women, weak economic capacity, sexual and gender-based violence including female genital mutilation (FGM) are major impediments to the amelioration of women's health in the African Region. To ensure that women and men have equal access to the necessary opportunities to achieve their full health potential and health equity, the health sector and the community need to recognize that women and men differ in terms of both sex and gender. Because of social (gender) and biological (sex) differences, women and men experience different health risks, health-seeking behaviour, health outcomes and responses from health systems.