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The chronicle



The chronicle

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Chronic Diseases Network of the Northern Territory


The Chronicle newsletters; Chronic Diseases Network newsletters; E-Journals; PublicationNT




Date:2013-03; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.




Chronic diseases -- Northern Territory -- Treatment -- Periodicals; Chronic Diseases Network of the Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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Chronic Diseases Network of the Northern Territory

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v. 25 no. 1

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March 20132 G EN D ER H EA LT H A married woman contracts HIV because societal and cultural attitudes and practices encourage and excuse her husbands promiscuity while simultaneously preventing her from being able to choose when or how to have sex, deny her access to condoms, deny her the ability to insist on condom use and from leaving the relationship. Such attitudes may also blame her for not being an attractive or good enough wife to prevent her husband from seeking sex outside what may have been an arranged marriage. A countrys lung cancer mortality rate for men far outstrips the corresponding rate for women because smoking is considered an attractive marker of masculinity, while it is frowned upon in women. In each of these cases, gender norms and values, and resulting behaviors, negatively affect health. The gender status at any given time and place can be one of the major obstacles - sometimes the single most important obstacle - standing between men and women and the achievement of well-being. (Adapted from the WHO 2012 Gender, equity and human rights at the core of the health response) So what does this mean for people working within the health system? Many of us would believe that our system is equitable and based on the fair and equal treatment of all. A gender equality (treating both sexes the same free from discrimination) approach would seem on the surface ideal. However, this approach, as highlighted in the examples above, can reinforce existing inequalities and result in programs and services which are not effective in meeting the needs of either sex. As described in our fi rst article (Vol 24, Issue 2, June 2012) gender neutrality (or gender blindness) assumes that all people are affected by policies, programs and services in the same way, or that these policies, programs and services have neutral impacts on recipients. This idea is premised on the theory that all people are already equal and therefore that treating all people the same is fair. Treating women and men identically will not ensure equal outcomes because women and men do not experience the same social and economic conditions to begin with. Because of life conditions or past discrimination, it may sometimes be necessary to treat women and men differently to achieve equitable outcomes. For example, it would clearly be inappropriate, as well as ineffective, to implement a health program for remote Aboriginal women and use the same program for urban white males. By considering the relationship between gender and health, the social context of peoples lives can assist in improving accessibility and appropriateness of health services. In this article we suggest that the process of undertaking gender analysis can be useful for all health practitioners as part of policy and program development and service delivery and evaluation. Gender analysis can work to identify and address gender differences and gender inequities. We also provide simple ideas for such analysis and references for further consideration. While our focus here is on gender, such analysis is also useful for agencies and services to refl ect on how well they are responding to diversity more broadly, for example looking at the range of demographic and social markers such as age, culture, education, socio-economic status and sexual preference impacting on individual clients as well as the wider community. HEALTH SERVICE MANAGERS GENDER ANALYSIS CHECKLIST Planning Have you involved both women and men in service planning consultations? Have you used sex disaggregated data to build a profi le of health needs and priorities in your community/region? (Sex disaggregation means recording numbers of men and women.) Do you conduct client service satisfaction surveys? Is there an even distribution of male and female respondents? If not have Continued from Page 1 Continued on Page 3