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Gender Inequalities in Health Care

Feminist scholars have brought health inequalities based on gender to the attention of the sociological community in the recent decades. They have shown through research that gender bias exists in the medical research. There is more focus on men’s diseases and their cures such as cardiac problems rather on women diseases such as breast cancer. One reason could be that men have access to better health care then women and it is profitable to engage and provide better medical facilities to men.

Medical research is only beginning to explore the fact that women may react differently than men to some illnesses and may require different treatment regimes. Gender bias also exists in medical treatment. Women’s treatment takes backstage in most of the economies where emphasis is on men’s health as they are bread earners of the family. Parents tend to spend on the medical treatment of their sons rather on their daughters. Fewer women have access to medical procedures like kidney transplants, cardiac procedures or cancer treatment than the men.

Women usually have longer live span than men, they experience greater risk of functional disability and other chronic illness and require long-term care both monetarily and socially. Yet more in spent on men’s rather than on women’s health even in developed countries like United States.

Although women live longer than men do, gender inequalities have a negative impact on women’s health. Women’s health is negatively affected by differences between women and men in access to gender-appropriate medical research and treatment as well as the economic resources needed to secure adequate health care.




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