Gender in health and development | About the programme

About gender in health

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Elderly Iraninan woman sits spinning wool into yarnGender in health acknowledges the influence of social, political, economic and spiritual determinants on the health of men and women, boys and girls, and the way this impacts them differently regarding:

health risks and protective factors

access to resources to protect health

manifestation, severity and frequency of disease

health-seeking behaviour

social, economic and cultural outcomes of ill health and disease

response of health systems and services

roles of women and men as formal and informal health-care providers.

Gender in health looks at the roots of health-seeking behaviour. It aims to improve health outcomes for both female and male populations, regardless of age, ethnicity, religion and socioeconomic status. It cannot be assumed that health programmes and policies affect men, women, boys and girls in the same way. Differences and specific vulnerabilities must be identified and addressed in health programmes and policies in order to make progress towards health for all.