At a recent symposium, Dr Sarah Hawkes, co-author of the recent ‘Gender and global health: evidence, policy, and inconvenient truths’, presented a compelling argument that gender is a significant, yet misunderstood, determinant of health.
It is well known that health disparities exist between men and women. A quick glance at the latest World Health Organisation figures reveals that only three countries report a higher life expectancy for men than for women: Qatar, Tonga, and Tuvalu.
Other high-profile research such as the 2012 Global Burden of Disease study identified that the most common diseases disproportionately affect men.
In order to avoid confusion, the panelists and members of the audience were quick to note that health programmes focusing on women and girls clearly play an important role, in light of the significant impact that gender inequalities have on girls and women.
However, these programmes are complementary to, but not fully representative of, efforts to promote gender equity in health. (more…)