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Health and the social power of women

Listed author(s):
  • MacCormack, Carol P.
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    The relationship between women's social status and the survival chances of their children is explained and illustrated with examples. When women (and girls) have low status, relatively little social investment is made in them, and this is reflected in girls' and boys' differential mortality rates. Several health-related social investment indicators are given, and matched against children's mortality patterns by ecological regions of Africa and Asia. The cultural propensity to invest in girls (nutrition, education, etc.) and their resultant survival chances, are explained by ecology which in past centuries has largely determined agricultural economies that either had a high demand for female labour or did not. In the former, women are more likely to control the wealth they produce and use it for transactions that put others in their social debt, thus growing in social power. Policy implications of planning and implementing primary health care in these different types of societies are explored.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 26 (1988)
    Issue (Month): 7 (January)
    Pages: 677-683

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:26:y:1988:i:7:p:677-683
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