United Nations Headquarters in New York hosted the inaugural World Women’s Health and Development Forum today, bringing together world leaders, representatives of UN system entities, scientists, healthcare professionals, and members of civil society, the media and the private sector to discuss how best to advance the health, wealth and empowerment of women worldwide.
The two-day High Level Forum was organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Royal Academy of Science International Trust (RASIT), focusing on the outcomes desired from the Post-2015 development agenda and identifying the main challenges facing countries in developing and enhancing women’s health.
Princess Nisreen El-Hashemite, the Forum’s founder and Executive Director of RASIT, said that the Forum would aim “to identify the main challenges facing countries for developing and enhancing women’s health. It will reflect practices, information-sharing mechanisms and concrete actions for the health and development of women and girls, taking into consideration different needs of different societies and cultures.”
In an interview with UN Radio after she delivered her welcome message, Dr. El-Hashemite noted that there is currently insufficient knowledge within academia and the health care industry about women's health, including non-communicable diseases and mental illnesses.
“It is important to realize that women and men have different medical needs,” she said. “As a doctor and a scientist, and as a woman, I call on ministries of health to establish office of women's health, wish a mission of protecting and advancing the health of women broadly.”
The Executive Directors of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Babatunde Osotimehin, and the Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, were also expected to address the opening session of the event.