Week 10: Gendered Health Disparity
1. Why is higher education a risk factor for greater violence among Aboriginal
women in Canada?
- isolation and lack of social support?
-threat to masculinity ?
2. What has been implemented in Canada to address gender equality?
-Canada has been instrumental in reducing trafficking of women through child tax
benefits and parental leave
-other sites of action include (Federal plan for Gender Inequality)– promoting
affordable house, reducing violence against women, enhancing their economic
participation, child care programs, addressing health needs of marginalized women
- Womens Health strategy – to improve state of knowledge on women health and to
support development of health services gender based analysis
- community based cultural brokers (bicultural women trained in health
promotion creating gender sensitivity), photo-novellas (storytelling/focus groups to
convey voices of women to policy makers)
3. Is Canada gender equal? Yes, or no, what is the evidence?
Should make greater progress in reducing inequality in men and women says UN –
based on high percent on women living in poverty and report poor health status,
persistence of violence against Canadian women and decline in funding for shelters,
vulnerability of aboriginal women to domestic violence and incarneation,
diminished status of immigant women
- overall there is a commitment to gender equality and improving health of women
through its programmes, but still there are issues that persist
4. Who is responsible for perpetuating gender stereotypes? (re: roles of
5. What core components need to be implemented to achieve gender equity?
- Addressing major issues women’s poverty, discrimination against women,
migrants and coloured, inappropriate and inadequate health services
- more attention needs to be paid to health consequences of male gender roles in
male dominant communities
-mainstreaming gender analysis or gender sensitive care (health services tailored to
meet needs of gender)
- raising minimum wage/social assistance
-national child care program to alleviate burden of caregiving
6. Could we consider gender inequality a cultural construction (considering it
is usually defined according to economic roles/contributions)?
- yes, because female gender roles require women to be responsible for
disproportionate amounts of domestic labour, socialization of children and kin work, labour market leading to role conflict between family and work demands
- cultural notions that women are smaller and their labour requires less energy
provides rationale for unequal distribution of food - leads to undernutrition
-women presumed to be “natural” caregivers – demanding social ties depression,
back aches, insomnia, arthiritis, hearing problems
- violence against women is tolerated and legitimized in some societies
- Satisfying spousal relationships and mothering roles can moderate Job strain
7. In what ways does employment equity lead to gender equity?
- the low control and high demand environments women work in are associated
with poor self rated health (job insecurity, job strain, sexual harassment, low wages)
depression, CVD, high BP, eroded self esteem
- double shift of domestic and labour market responsibilities – deterious affects on
mental and physical health of women
Extra Questions from Lecture/Reading material:
1. Why should we be concerned that women today represent approximately
half of the global burden of HIV/AIDS (and slightly higher rates in some parts,
i.e., sub-Saharan Africa)? Consider the historical pattern of the pandemic.
2. Outline the various ways gender can be an important determinant of
- Gender roles can influence access to health resources… Female subordination in
patriarchal societies puts women in lower positions of social status, power, and
rights…social system controlled by men
3. What is the “gender paradox”?
Females on average live longer than males, but more likely to experience those extra
years as unhealthy ones. Whereas, men who live shorter lives, do so because they
take part is risky behaviour (war, drugs).
4. Which proximate, ultimate and historical factors can explain the rate of
female Aboriginal HIV (compared to other groups) in Canada?
Historical = Women’s gender inequality among aboriginals is
largely a consequence of European contact and colonialism
dispossession of women’s rights and devaluation of social
5.Consider the various solutions to reduce gender inequality worldwide.
- reverse “feminization of poverty” affordable housing, employment equity,
family friendly policies, assistance for rural women/new immigrants, reproductive
health programs,better access to nutrition and ed.,gender sensitive health care,
addressing gender inequities
-legislative government promote gender equity ( repeal of discriminatory laws,
equal property rights, protection in criminal cases, educating women of their rights) -mainstreaming gender analysis in healthcare planning and research getting
rid of gender bias in content and process of health research
Week 11: Inequality in Childhood
1. How does poverty and low SES affect child growth and development
2. Discuss the significance of brain growth in infancy and early childhood.
-Newborns use 87% of resting metabolic rate for brain growth and function
(compare this to 16-25% in adults)…critical time period for the development of the
3. What is the evidence for the benefits of nutritional supplementation in
- INCAP study by Pollit and Brown - Atole supplement = high protein, Fresco
supplement= sugar/no protein. SES and maximum grades attained were observed in
both conditions (Fresco and Atole). Atole acted as a social equalizer as it erased
relationship between SES and academic achievement that was observed in children
who took Fresco. Atole enhanced performance of those with more schooling but had
little effect in those with only low levels of schooling. Also had greater effect on
those suffering severe poverty as opposed to moderate/slight.
4. What are the various consequences of childhood malnutrition?
Poor physical and mental development (intellectual and psychological
Poorer school performance
More susceptible to effects of infection
More severe diarrheal episodes
Higher risk of pneumonia
Lower functioning immune systems
Lower levels of iodine, iron, protein and energy
More chronic illness
Increased mortality rate
5. In what ways can the psychosocial environment of poverty affect child
- Children from risky families (low SES)
have greater problems regulating emotion, which leads to higher risks of
anxiety, depression and hostility in adulthood…all of these increase the risk
for cardiovascular disease
marital conflict between parents = behavioral problems and trouble
maintaining close social relationships
-Social characteristics of low SES neighbourhood/school
high level of violence exposure/victimization = poor emotion regulation, poor social adjustment, increased feelings of fear…observing violence immune
dysregulation and greater risk for asthma,
schools with less order and coherence = increased perceived stress, and
feelings of hopelessness, isolation, fear
6. Detail the mechanisms through which physical and psychosocial
environmental exposures can affect adult physical health outcomes (see
Cohen et al. 2010).
- Physical exposures in the environment of Low SES children
children from low SES families live in low quality residences that can have
potentially harmful exposures such as lead-based paint, carbon monoxide, or