The Women and Health Initiative (W&HI) was founded at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2010 by Dean Julio Frenk. As one of the Dean’s flagship initiatives, the W&HI draws on resources and expertise from across the Harvard Chan School and broader Harvard community to develop interdisciplinary perspectives and innovative solutions to the challenges women face in the public health arena. The W&HI brings together global partners including academic institutions, governments, foundations, private industry, multi-lateral agencies, non-governmental organizations, and committed individuals.

The W&HI recognizes that, due to persistent social and gender inequality around the world, girls and women experience increased risk of poor health and injustice within the health system, where they play dual roles as both recipients of health interventions and critical caregivers The W&HI is unprecedented in its balanced focus on improving women’s health throughout the life course and recognizing and nurturing women’s contributions to the health and wealth of societies.

A central tenet of the W&HI is that female-driven solutions rooted in gender equality and women’s empowerment will strengthen health systems to better address women’s needs. The W&HI supports women’s efforts to fulfill their potential as providers, decision-makers and leaders in health systems.


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