Dedicated to women's health and rights

"Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services." Article 25, Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

70 years ago the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed at the United Nations General Assembly in Paris. This important document - now the world’s most translated, into over 500 languages - establishes the minimum standards that everyone should be able to expect in life.

These principles are closely aligned with FIGO’s vision of a world where all women achieve the highest possible standards of physical, mental, reproductive and sexual health and wellbeing throughout their lives. While these standards are relevant for everyone, women require specialist care at specific times in their lives, for example during pregnancy, childbirth and the menopause.

The Quality of Care Network, of which FIGO is a founding member, has identified the key components necessary for delivering the quality of care all women have a right to:

  • Safe - ensuring preventable injuries and medical errors are avoided
  • Effective - following scientific knowledge and evidence-based guidelines
  • Timely - providing healthcare as soon as it’s required
  • Efficient - reducing wastage in a way that maximises resources
  • Equitable - consistent care irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity, geographical location or socioeconomic status

Such levels of care are especially crucial for pregnant women and newborns, and the Quality of Care Network explains the need for "competent and motivated health professionals", along with the necessary equipment and medical supplies, and clean water; but this is not a reality for everyone.

For many women around the world, affordable adequate healthcare is out of reach. Sadly, in low resource settings, members of the population are often unable to access, or are excluded from the factors that contribute towards good health.

Meeting the requirements set out by the Quality of Care Network is a constant challenge for all nations. Every woman has the right to receive care with respect and dignity, and she should have access to the social and emotional support of her choice.

Significant human rights challenges remain

Healthcare is an area that must be at the forefront of global priority. The UN has identified that:

70 years on, Article 25 remains highly pertinent

Today we reaffirm the importance of these enduring human rights principles and standards worldwide.

FIGO, and our 132 member societies, remain dedicated to the improvement of women’s health and rights and to the reduction of disparities in healthcare available to women and newborns globally.