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.

 

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.

 

 

 

‘Changing the picture’ of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

Our Watch, July 18th 2018

Our Watch has today launched a resource aimed at tackling the horrific prevalence of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Changing the picture contains a set of clear actions that are needed to address the many drivers of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, and is aimed at encouraging, guiding and supporting a national effort to prevent this violence.

Download report:

Report Changing the picture
Six-page executive summary
Background paper

Read more of article:

‘Changing the picture’ of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

 

‘Sexism’ in sexual assault research, but this time men are the target

Science Daily, July 10, 2017

Sexism is alive and well, but this time men are the target. A new study debunks a long-standing theory that sexual assault isn’t as emotionally traumatizing for men as it is for women and that it doesn’t result in similar emotional impacts, especially depression. Men make up about 38 percent of sexual assault and rape incidents reported, and those in the military are particularly vulnerable and less likely to report an assault.

No excuses: government releases new guidelines on sexist language

The Age, April 10

“Boys will be boys.” “He’s picking on you because he likes you.” “Don’t throw like a girl.”

These are the kinds of phrases that the Australian government is attempting to eradicate with a new tool in its anti-violence campaign aimed at educators and influencers of young people.

  • Read more here 
  • Download No Excuses Guideline (PDF) here