February 27 Doyle.docx

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University of Ottawa
International Development and Globalization
Sonia Gulati

February 27, 2014 Doyle “Gender and Global Health” Men and Women: Patterns of health and illness • To compare the health and well-being of men and women is a considerable challenge; o Limitations greatest in LICs, where data is not always accurate and inclusive. o However, this data offers useful indication of various health inequalities. • Women’s longer life expectancy throughout every country in the world, but the gender gap varies; o Male’s life expectancy gap highest in Iraq (19 years) due to rapid growth of poverty in the post-communist era that has led to male unemployment and substance abuse. o Reversal of male and female life expectancy in Africa due to HIV/AIDS and poverty. o The varying gap suggests that the underlying reasons are due to a range of more complex influences of biological and social factors. • Men and women are dying from similar causes—TB, HIV/AIDS, and respiratory infections, for example. o However, men more likely to die from intentional and non-intention injury, homicide, or conflict. o Women face hazards of reproduction, dying from childbirth and pregnancy complications, miscarriage/termination effects—although this reflects only 2% of female deaths, it is a preventable area. o “Women get sicker, but men die quicker.”  Women report poorer Self-reported Health, but this may also reflect wording and cultural perceptions of survey questions. o Composite health indicators;  HALE (Healthy Life Expectancy); life expectancy at birth and then adjusted downwards to reflect an estimate of time spent during life in poor health. • Reveals that 14 out of 192 countries had males living a better HALE than females. • This might seem like a small number, but only four countries didn’t have women losing a greater proportion of their life from illness and disability.  DALYs have only found a narrow gap between women and men’s morbidity; however, DALYs have been criticized for their focus on economic rather than social costs of disease. o Use of health services;  In some settings, men more reluctant to seek service due to not wanting to seem weak.  Women more responsible for care of children and vulnerable dependents which may limit them asking for help.  More women treated for hypertension, depression, and anxiety; more men treated for coronary heart problems and diabetes. Thus, women have poorer self-reported health, use services more, experience more chronic problems while men have higher levels of illness and disability that contributes to their higher mortality rates, as well as under-using healthcare. Sex, Gender, and Health • Difference between biological sex and social gender has continuing confusion. o Gender as a term came into the use during the 1960s to describe how gendered
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