Gender and Health
In September 2000 the United Nations Millennium Declaration, endorsed by 189 countires, represented a global commitment to reduce poverty and hunger, and tackle ill-health, lack of education, lack of access to clean water, environmental degradation and gender inequality. There has been increasing recognition over the past two decades by the World Health Organsiation (WHO) and other international health institutions that gender - the socially constructed differences between men and women- has sytematically empowered men over women in all areas of life, and has led to the systematic devaluing and neglect of women's health (WHO, 2005).
Unequal gender relations, along with other powerful barriers including poverty, racism and homophobia, are signficant determinents of social and health outcomes, preventing millions of women worldwide from having access to health care and from attaining, and maintaining, the best possible health. Developing a gender lens for the study of health data and incorporating a gender perspecitve into the development of health policies and programmes is essential for improving women's health.