My interest in the role of women in development led me to focus on WHO's efforts to empower women and improve their health status. This interest began and evolved from the time I was a Volunteer in Service to America, VISTA Volunteer, working with low-income Hispanic women in Phoenix, Arizona. For two years, I was a direct witness to the debilitating health effects on women with children, resulting from not having access to health care services. Today, health care, a fundamental right conferred at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, is still denied to many women throughout the world. The WHO advocates that all development policies and activities, at both national and international levels, give special attention to reducing inequalities in health care and to fulfilling women's specific needs. In 1995, the Executive Board of WHO decided to make women's health, together with reproductive health, one of WHO's highest priorities.