Disrupting gender norms in health systems: making the case for change

The Lancet, Gender Equality, Norms, and Health Steering Committee, Published May 30, 2019

Summary

Restrictive gender norms and gender inequalities are replicated and reinforced in health systems, contributing to gender inequalities in health.
In this Series paper, we explore how to address all three through recognition and then with disruptive solutions.
We used intersectional feminist theory to guide our systematic reviews, qualitative case studies based on lived experiences, and quantitative analyses based on cross-sectional and evaluation research.
We found that health systems reinforce patients’ traditional gender roles and neglect gender inequalities in health, health system models and clinic-based programmes are rarely gender responsive, and women have less authority as health workers than men and are often devalued and abused.
With regard to potential for disruption, we found that gender equality policies are associated with greater representation of female physicians, which in turn is associated with better health outcomes, but that gender parity is insufficient to achieve gender equality. We found that institutional support and respect of nurses improves quality of care, and that women’s empowerment collectives can increase health-care access and provider responsiveness.
We see promise from social movements in supporting women’s reproductive rights and policies. Our findings suggest we must view gender as a fundamental factor that predetermines and shapes health systems and outcomes. Without addressing the role of restrictive gender norms and gender inequalities within and outside health systems, we will not reach our collective ambitions of universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. We propose action to systematically identify and address restrictive gender norms and gender inequalities in health systems.

I looked at 100 best-selling picture books: female protagonists were largely invisible

Sarah Mokrzycki, The Conversation, June 3, 2019 6.08am AEST

In April 2019, I examined the 100 bestselling picture books at Australian book retailer Dymocks: an almost 50/50 mix of modern and classic stories (the majority being published in the past five years).

I discovered that despite the promising evolution of the rebel girl trend, the numbers tell us that picture books as a whole remain highly gendered and highly sexist. Worse – female protagonists remain largely invisible.

How we tackle gender in picture books is important, as they help inform children’s understanding of the world and themselves.

 

Let’s make it mandatory to teach respectful relationships in every Australian school

The Conversation, May 28, 2019 5.45am AEST

Media reports of findings from the latest National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey caused a stir in recent days, with some highlighting the importance of education programs to teach young people about gender-based violence.

Schools play a significant role in educating young people about gender-based violence and helping change the underlying attitudes that lead to it.

Findings from the latest National Community Attitudes Towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS)

ANROWS, May 2019

Findings from the 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey are now live. The survey collects information through telephone interviews with over 17,500 Australians 16 years of age and over.

Key findings:

Encouraging results
• Most Australians have accurate knowledge of violence against women and do not endorse this violence.
• Most Australians support gender equality and are more likely to support gender equality in 2017 than they were in 2013 and 2009.
• Australians are more likely to understand that violence against women involves more than just physical violence in 2017 than they were in 2013 and 2009.
• Australians are less likely to hold attitudes supportive of violence against women in 2017 than they were in 2013 and 2009.
• There has been improvement in knowledge and attitudes related to 27 of the 36 questions asked in 2013 and again in 2017.
• There has been improvement in knowledge and attitudes related to all but two of the 11 questions asked in the 1995 NCAS and again in 2017.
• If confronted by a male friend verbally abusing his female partner, most respondents say they would be bothered (98%), would act (70%) and would feel they would have the support of all or most of their friends if they did act (69%).

Concerning results
• There continues to be a decline in the number of Australians who understand that men are more likely than women to perpetrate domestic violence.
• A concerning proportion of Australians believe that gender inequality is exaggerated or no longer a problem.
• Among attitudes condoning violence against women, the highest level of agreement was with the idea that women use claims of violence to gain tactical advantage in their relationships with men.
• 1 in 5 Australians would not be bothered if a male friend told a sexist joke about women.

 

 

 

Landmark study to track gay and bisexual men’s attitudes on body image

ABC News Breakfast, 15/2/2019

Steroid use is on the rise as young men fuelled by social media lead a dangerous pursuit of muscle-bound perfection, researchers warn.  Now, for the first time, a global study run from Australia will look specifically at how gay and bisexual men are impacted and whether this could be leading to fatal outcomes.

Starting today, 3.5 million men on the Grindr app in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US will be invited to start the Gay Bodies Worldwide survey.

Act To Prevent Men’s Violence Against Women A Guide For Community Action

Women’s Health West. 2018

This resource is for community members or groups who are planning to undertake actions to prevent men’s violence against women.

This resource details practical things you can do every day to prevent men’s violence against women. It also includes important information to consider before you take action, as well as links to further resources.