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Gender Inequalities in Health

“Gender differences in the opportunity to enjoy good health are related to the biological differences between men and women. Gender inequalities, on the other hand, are related to power and have an ethical component that biology does not. In understanding gender inequalities in health, it is helpful to ask the following questions: Who has power to access the healthcare system and the social, political, and economic arrangements that determine health status? Who has little power? Who is not willing to share power and why? Documenting gender inequalities in health helps in the quantifying of what Popay and Groves call the “health-related indicators of oppression.” Some of these indicators are obvious, such as the percentage of elective abortions of female fetuses in India or sexual and other violence directed towards women and girls. Others are more subtle but damaging none the less, like tiredness, headaches, and chronic pain. In a perfect world, accurate documentation of gender inequalities in health would compel frank discussions about ethical solutions that empower individuals to seek and attain the highest quality of health available to them. ”
– Annette MacKay Rossignol, professor of public health, Oregon State University USA, quoted from in her MJA review of the book “Gender Inequalities in Health“. To read the full review please click here

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