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Gender equity and sexual and reproductive health in Eastern and Southern Africa: a critical overview of the literature

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MacPherson, Eleanor, Dusabe-Richards, Esther, Namakhoma, Ireen and Theobald, Sally ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9053-211X (2014) 'Gender equity and sexual and reproductive health in Eastern and Southern Africa: a critical overview of the literature'. Global Health Action, Vol 7, e23717.

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Abstract

Background

Gender inequalities are important social determinants of health. We set out to critically review the literature relating to gender equity and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in Eastern and Southern Africa with the aim of identifying priorities for action.

Design

During November 2011, we identified studies relating to SRH and gender equity through a comprehensive literature search.

Results

We found gender inequalities to be common across a range of health issues relating to SRH with women being particularly disadvantaged. Social and biological determinants combined to increase women’s vulnerability to maternal mortality, HIV, and gender-based violence. Health systems significantly disadvantaged women in terms of access to care. Men fared worse in relation to HIV testing and care with social norms leading to men presenting later for treatment.

Conclusions

Gender inequity in SRH requires multiple complementary approaches to address the structural drivers of unequal health outcomes. These could include interventions that alter the structural environment in which ill-health is created. Interventions are required both within and beyond the health system.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WA Public Health > Health Administration and Organization > WA 550 Family planning
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.3402/gha.v7.23717
Depositing User: Lynn Roberts-Maloney
Date Deposited: 11 May 2015 09:00
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:09
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/5133

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