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Women and Health

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Brock University
Women's and Gender Studies
Jenny Janke

312 Women and Health March1212 958 AM KEY TERMSa Politics of the body and the personal is political b Hierarchies c Double standards in health d Gender and sex e Pathologization f Marginalization g Victim blaming h Androcentricphallocentric i Maternal mortality Introduction 1 Issues of health care reflect two key feminist axioms the personal is the political and the politics of the body 2 Being a man or a woman has a significant impact on health as a result of both biological and genderrelated differences3 Some of the sociocultural factors that prevent women and girls to benefit from quality health servicesattaining the best level of healtha Unequal power relationships between men and womenb Social norms that decrease education and paid employment opportunitiesc An exclusive focus on womens reproductive rolesd Potential or actual experience of physical sexual and emotional violencee Poverty tends to yield a higher burden on women and girls health due to for example feeding practices malnutrition 4 Women are according to Gustafson 2010 the majority of the users of the health care system in Canada5 Women also constitute those who do the unpaid health care work and the vast majority of the paid health care workers PSW health care aids RNs RPNs medical secretaries technicians etc 6 In the last 40 years more women have become physicians women still tend to dominate in areas such as pediatrics gynecologyobstetrics and psychiatry 7 The medical institution tends to be on that is hierarchical power rests at the top of the hierarchy with doctors specialists etc making important decisions that affect us Women as Objects of Medical ResearchHealth research has been plagued by three main forms of bias in research delivery of health programs and access 1 Maintenance of existing hierarchies 2 Failing to examine differences 3 Use of double standards for womens healthExisting Hierarchies1 Hierarchies aresystems of ranking and power sexism and racism are premised upon hierarchies
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