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Principles of Gender-based Analysis of Health Care Reform

All work conducted by Women and Health Care Reform is informed by gender-based analysis.

Gender-based analysis (GBA) is an internationally recognized and adopted concept and technique, a tool, of consistently assessing research, policy, programming and planning for the implications, and effects for women, men, boys and girls, and the diversity of circumstances in which women and men live.

Sex describes biological and physiological aspects of females and males (along a continuum). It has important implications for how women and men show symptom of illness, for instance, and how the physical body reacts and responds to treatments.

Gender refers to the array of socially constructed roles and relationships, personality traits, attitudes, behaviours, values relative power and influence that society ascribes to the two sexes and that individuals adopt in self-identity. Gender is important to whether women and men have the same access to treatment, whether they have income available for extra health care costs, how household responsibilities are balanced, personal safety and the threat of violence, and how policy decisions are made.

GBA provides a means of identifying how sex and gender are important in issues, for both women and men, and for women and men separately. GBA compels us to think about how the experiences of women and men are different and how they are the same. GBA brings research to decision making by broadening the scope of evidence.

By examining all aspects of health care reforms through GBA, or with a gender lens, Women and Health Care Reform asks questions such as these:

  • What policies help women stay or become healthy?
  • What policies provide women with appropriate services and high quality care?
  • What policies ensure that women or men are not disadvantaged by the shift of health care to homes and community?
  • What policies protect the wages, working conditions, and health of women who are employed in health care systems? What policies allow for women’s participation in decision-making?
  • What policies pose a threat to women’s health?
  • Which women are included? And which are not?
Which women are included? And which are not?

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