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Social roles and physical health: The case of female disadvantage in poor countries

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  • Santow, Gigi

Abstract

Women's culturally and socially determined roles greatly impair their health and that of their children through a complex web of physiological and behavioural interrelationships and synergies that pervade every aspect of their lives. Women's roles also affect their use of health services since modern health care has been absorbed so successfully into traditional structures that families tend to allocate it, like food, according to characteristics such as sex and age. Change may be occurring through the agency of female education and a redefinition of familial relationships, both of which operate to improve women's position, and hence their health. Health services could perhaps accelerate the process by revising their view of women as the natural guardians of their family's health, and by drawing other family members, and particularly husbands, into their orbit.

Suggested Citation

  • Santow, Gigi, 1995. "Social roles and physical health: The case of female disadvantage in poor countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 147-161, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:40:y:1995:i:2:p:147-161
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Keera Allendorf, 2013. "Going Nuclear? Family Structure and Young Women’s Health in India, 1992–2006," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(3), pages 853-880, June.
    2. Buor, Daniel, 2004. "Gender and the utilisation of health services in the Ashanti Region, Ghana," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 375-388, September.
    3. Ramzi Mabsout, 2011. "Capability and Health Functioning in Ethiopian Households," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 101(3), pages 359-389, May.
    4. Rai, Ashok & Ravi, Shamika, 2011. "Do Spouses Make Claims? Empowerment and Microfinance in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 913-921, June.
    5. Roy, Kakoli & Chaudhuri, Anoshua, 2008. "Influence of socioeconomic status, wealth and financial empowerment on gender differences in health and healthcare utilization in later life: evidence from India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(9), pages 1951-1962, May.

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