Do no harm and protect people from injustice. These are the basic principles of the Hippocratic Oath, which is taken by doctors all over the world. Within these principles are the fundamental concepts of impartiality, humanity, equity and fairness which should underpin public policy. They also reflect the humanitarian foundations upon which the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is built, principles that also boost the most effective responses to HIV. However, most governments are not approaching drug use as a medical concern. Most national governments are enforcing drug laws that are harmful and unjust, and they must change.
Improving global women’s health is both a noble and necessary endeavor, as well as a daunting task. There is no cookie-cutter solution to the myriad of issues women face. While there may not be a simple answer, there is a challenge to be offered; one that calls for the engagement of boys as integral to the next generation of leaders in women’s health. Inherent in that challenge also lies a solution; a way of overcoming social, economic, cultural, and gender barriers to build a bridge between today’s public health issues and tomorrow’s public health victories. Today’s boys are set to inherit a world in which they, simply by virtue of being men, will hold a great deal of power. If that power can be leveraged for positive change through open communication, gender sensitive education, and men’s ownership of the women’s health agenda, great progress can be achieved.
Research by the World Health Organization (WHO) has shown that inequities in gender norms influence the ways in which men interact with their partners, including in prevention behaviors related to sexual and reproductive health.