UfM and WHO join forces to improve women’s access to health in the Euro-Mediterranean region
- The Union for the Mediterranean signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the field of women’s access to health.
- The agreement will promote the engagement of UfM Member States in women’s empowerment, improving women’s access to health and addressing violence against women.
- Collaboration between the UfM and WHO started in 2016 to promote the project “WORTH – Women’s Right to Health,” which aims to reduce the incidence and mortality of cancers affecting women in Albania, Montenegro and Morocco, through the design and implementation of a comprehensive control strategy for cervical and breast cancer.
5 March 2020, Barcelona. The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the World Health Organization (WHO) signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of women’s access to health. Through this MoU, the two organitzations will work to establish a framework for cooperation to promote and facilitate the engagement of UfM Member States in health-related activities, primarily to address violence against women and to improve women’s access to health. The MoU was signed by UfM Secretary General Nasser Kamel and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO.
The agreement will contribute to the implementation of the UfM´s commitment on women’s empowerment, particularly on the promotion of women´s health, as called for by the UfM´s 2017 Ministerial Conference on Strengthening the Role of Women in Society held in Cairo, where Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to combat all forms of violence against women and girls and to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services for women and girls.
“I am convinced that warranting equal access to health for women and girls will contribute to the region’s inclusive growth and development and will lead to regional and global prosperity. By focusing on human development, in particular through women and girls’ empowerment, the UfM aims to bring a significant contribution to addressing the root causes of the current challenges faced by the Euro-Mediterranean region,” said UfM Secretary General Nasser Kamel.
Dr Tedros said: “The MoU we are signing today solidifies the collaboration between the Union for the Mediterranean and WHO, and takes us further along the road towards universal health coverage. This partnership builds on our work together over the last decade to improve access to testing and treatment for cervical cancer, and in our current effort on the prevention of violence against women.”
Both organizations will join forces to facilitate the engagement of UfM Member States in health-related activities, in particular for women, including on cervical cancer prevention and control and supporting women victims of violence.
The agreement aims to help UfM and WHO Member States build capacities and strengthen actions on health in the areas of (i) health research, (ii) health education, (iii) health system strengthening and financial protection to achieve universal health coverage and (iv) advocacy for health in all their policies.
UfM’s collaboration with WHO dates back to 2016 through project the “WORTH – Women’s Right to Health” project. This project aims to reach more than 45,000 women and reduce incidence of and deaths from cervical anc breast cancerI in Albania, Montenegro and Morocco through the design and implementation of a comprehensive cancer control strategy. The strategy is being developed in line with national policies and programmes and closely coordinated with health authorities and health care professionals.
UfM Policy Framework on Access to Health:
- The Cairo 2017 UfM Ministerial Declaration on Strengthening the Role of Women in Society
- The Valletta 2017 UfM Ministerial Declaration on the Water Agenda
- The Athens 2014 UfM Ministerial Declaration on Environment and Climate Change