Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gender inequalities in health: A matter of policies

Date:
August 21, 2014
Source:
HorizonHealth
Summary:
A new study of the European project SOPHIE has evaluated the relationship between the type of family policies and gender inequalities in health in Europe. The results show that countries with traditional family policies (central and southern Europe) and countries with contradictory policies (Eastern Europe), present higher inequalities in self-perceived health, i.e. women reported poorer health than men. Health inequalities are especially remarkable in Southern Europe countries, where women present a 27% higher risk of having poor health compared to men.

A new study of the European project SOPHIE has evaluated the relationship between the type of family policies and gender inequalities in health in Europe. The results show that countries with traditional family policies (central and southern Europe) and countries with contradictory policies (Eastern Europe), present higher inequalities in self-perceived health, i.e. women reported poorer health than men. Health inequalities are especially remarkable in Southern Europe countries, where women present a 27% higher risk of having poor health compared to men.

Related Articles


The authors of this study, published in the journal Social Science & Medicine, have analysed data from 26 European countries, extracted from the European Social Survey 2010. The survey collected data from 28,655 women and 23,782 men that answered the question "How is your health in general? Would you say it is very good, good, fair, bad or very bad," which gives a measure of the self-perceived health. Previous studies have demonstrated that this question reflects overall health status, and has been associated with, for example, chronic diseases and death.

The countries analysed were classified into five categories according to their model of family policy, which influences the situation of women with respect to paid and unpaid work. The Dual-earner model (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) encourages women's continuous labour force participation and attempts to redistribute caring work within the family. The Traditional family policies model presumes that women have the primary responsibility for care at home, with different nuances in Central (Belgium, Germany, France and Netherlands) and Southern (Cyprus, Spain, Greece and Portugal) countries. The Market-oriented model (Switzerland, United Kingdom and Ireland) is characterized by a strong male breadwinner model in which the market is the main institution governing individuals' and families' access to resources. Finally, the Contradictory model (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Slovakia and Ukraine) preserves a highly gendered division of labour but also support the dual-earner family.

The results obtained show that there exist gender inequalities in health in countries with Traditional and Contradictory family policies, less oriented to gender equality and assuming that women are mostly responsible of domestic work and family care. Women have a 27% higher probability of having poor health in Traditional Southern countries, 13% in Traditional Central countries and 8% in Contradictory countries. On the opposite situation we can find the Dual-earner and the Market-oriented countries, where the difference in "poor health" drops off to a non-significant 5 and 4%, respectively.

According to the lead author of the study, Laia Palència: "The Southern European countries have developed a family solidarity model where women have a main role as family caregivers and a secondary role in the labour market, while services provision and financial governmental support are limited." At the opposite end are the Nordic countries, "where- Palència said -there is a higher State involvement in the care of children, the elderly and dependents through public services, which means that women have less family burden and a higher work engagement."

"The implementation of policies that promote equality between women and men, including family care policies, the promotion of access to the labour market or political representation by women, may have an effect in reducing gender inequalities in health," the research team noted.

Previous studies have shown that health depends mainly on the living and working conditions. It has also been widely reported that women tend to have poorer selfperceived health, despite having a longer life expectancy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by HorizonHealth. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Laia Palència, Davide Malmusi, Deborah De Moortel, Lucía Artazcoz, Mona Backhans, Christophe Vanroelen, Carme Borrell. The influence of gender equality policies on gender inequalities in health in Europe. Social Science & Medicine, 2014; 117: 25 DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.07.018

Cite This Page:

HorizonHealth. "Gender inequalities in health: A matter of policies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821115708.htm>.
HorizonHealth. (2014, August 21). Gender inequalities in health: A matter of policies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821115708.htm
HorizonHealth. "Gender inequalities in health: A matter of policies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821115708.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins