SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Women and men have different health-care needs, but an equal right to live healthily. For many women and girls, however, gender discrimination systematically undermines their access to health care, for reasons that include fewer financial resources and constraints on mobility.
This is compounded by additional burdens imposed by gender disparities which limit their ability to stay healthy. These include long hours spent on domestic work, unsafe work environments and gender-based violence, with mechanisms for prevention and protection often inadequate.
Pregnancy and childbirth pose particular risks. Every day, 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth around the world. Globally, that amounted to about 303,000 women in 2015.
UN Women acts to advance women’s well-being and health by working with governments to improve health services for women and girls, including survivors of violence, and backing non-governmental partners in filling gaps. We strive to end practices that put women and girls in danger, such as child marriage, and support efforts to end discriminatory laws and practices impeding women’s access to sexual and reproductive health-care services.
From where I stand: Chum Sopha
Chum Sopha was 27 when she tested HIV positive, following a major HIV outbreak in her village in Cambodia. With UN Women’s support, Sopha, along with other HIV positive women established a support group, which helped her fight discrimination. Today, she is hopeful and confident of living a fully functioning life.
Maternal health gets a new boost in Liberia
With 1,072 maternal deaths for every 100,000 births, Liberia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. In the remote areas, infrastructure and facilities are often lacking, and midwives and health workers deliver babies without any electricity at night. With the installation of solar lighting systems by UN Women and partners, conditions have improved in 26 clinics and five newly constructed Maternal Waiting Rooms.
Living with HIV and violence: Women of Ukraine speak out and build solidarity
In Ukraine, 35 per cent of women living with HIV have experienced violence since the age of 15, and lack of awareness, shelters and support services pose additional challenges for them. A UN Women-supported initiative is bringing awareness and new beginnings for HIV-positive women survivors of violence, in addition to helping them improve their health and quality of life.