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Concept of Gender Analysis in Healthcare: Access to Quality Healthcare Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Dec 7th, 2019

Introduction

Gender analysis assesses the effects of actions on both women and men. Gender analysis tends to focus on women more than men. The institutional structures view women as insubordinate. This could be termed as an aspect of women marginalization. Women are not involved in planning, decision making, policy formulation, training, employment and in projects. Women have been marginalized in politics, schools, economic and family setting.

Consequently, men have emerged as the privileged gender. Men who come from high social status have enjoyed the impacts of development. The economic status of women usually denies them a chance to access and maintain quality healthcare (World Health Organization, 2002, p. 1).

There is a need to examine gender relations in health care. This will enable policy makers to implement policies that benefit the least advantaged gender in the society.

This essay defines gender analysis and discusses the application of gender analysis to the health status of women of different incomes. The paper will also examine the implications of gender analysis to public policy and how research can contribute to gender analysis.

Gender Analysis in health care

Gender analysis in healthcare can be defined as the process of evaluating effects in healthcare provision from a social and economic perspective on both male and female genders.

The aim of gender analysis is to promote sustainability of healthcare provisions, enhance equity and identify areas with challenges. The assessment highlights areas of involvement, achievements and failures associated with either men or women. Gender analysis will provide the information required to plan and implement effective programs (Hunt, 2004, p. 100).

According to Office for Women’s Policy (2005, p. 8), gender analysis in health care involves identifying healthcare experiences for both men and women and noting the disparities. The aims and objectives of the policies are analyzed to obtain their impacts on men and women.

Data on different groups including the high, middle and low social class women and men is obtained and analyzed. Investigations on the effects of the policy on different genders are recorded and evaluated. Innovative solutions are obtained to overcome the challenges.

Recommendation of the most appropriate solution that will achieve gender equity is considered. The policy and the program are communicated and the indicators mentioned.

To examine health status of women of different incomes, it is necessary to obtain information concerning sex in the community, households and in the workplaces. Their health care needs, the level of income and access to health care are also important to gender analysis (Women and Healthcare Reform Group, 2009).

Gender analysis involves aspects like convenience and access to health care facilities. It also involves attitudes and perceptions about health for both men and women. Gender analysis will seek to obtain information on health care providers and investigate their attitude towards male and female. The influence of different instructions such as schools and religious institution can be analyzed. The implications of diverse attitudes from policy makers in health matters should be examined.

The equipment, infrastructure, environment, waiting time and access to facilities can be analyzed. The source of motivation for health care providers and the hospital guidelines used can be assessed. The services that are offered, community involvement, education materials and organization structure can contribute to the assessment of gender analysis.

Financing in health care is an aspect of gender analysis. The focus is placed on areas that are given priority in relation to gender analysis. Analyzing the stakeholders and decision making process on their ability to recognize gender issues in health institutions is significant. Obtaining information on service delivery for both genders is essential for gender analysis in healthcare, as Jackson et al (2006, p. 1) mention.

Social indicators of health and illnesses between men and women should be analyzed. Depending on the roles and the economic social status, differences may affect the access and availability of health care resources. Poverty may increase vulnerability.

Women who are left with the responsibility of providing and childcare may lack the resources to access health care. Cultural norms have a great impact on the perception of health by both men and women. Men and women give different levels of attention to illness, preventive measures and treatment. Culture affects the attitudes of both genders.

Quality healthcare is important in healthcare provisions. High social class women have access to quality health care owing to their economic status. The low class struggle to obtain and access healthcare. They are exposed by their environment and sometimes lack information on measures to prevent preventable illnesses. A large number of women belong to the low social class and the middle class. Consequently, they receive low quality health care than men. Poor quality health care may have negative effects on women.

Policies impact the implementation and the outcomes of every program in healthcare. Policies are the foundation for programs undertaken in health care institutions. The assumption is that policies address prevailing health issues. Gender blind policies ignore the differences between male and female and foster widespread gender inequalities. Gender aware policies are neutral, specific or redistributive.

The aim of gender awareness policies is to recognize the differences in men and women and attempt to attain equality between them. They also address specific issues in one gender and transform existing policies in order to accommodate both men and women irrespective of their situation (World Health Organization, 2002, p. 32).

According to Moana (1999, p. 4), policies based on gender analysis avoid discrimination of one gender. Most of the policies eliminate gender discrimination against women, who are often the victims of gender inequality. Basic health care is a human right and should reflect in public policy.

Health care policies that reflect gender analysis overcome unconstructive cultural practices and promote the availability of healthcare at an affordable price for women of all social classes. They also enhance accessibility to health care facilities. The application of gender policies will enable women to have access to reproductive healthcare services. Occupational challenges related to childcare and health care for women in career development will be alleviated if policies that are gender sensitive are implemented.

According to USAID (2012), gender analysis can be achieved if men and women collaborate in the evaluation and implementation of policies. Policies that are implemented should incorporate the community. It should not be viewed as a means of attaining equality but as an avenue for improving the lives of the marginalized. The programs should ensure that both men and women from low to high social class benefit.

Muecke (1996, p. 385) notes that healthcare providers pay little attention to gender when offering services. The value of gender analysis can be recognized if the quality of healthcare given to women is known. Gender analysis will enable healthcare providers improve the quality of healthcare given to women from diverse economic backgrounds.

If gender analysis is implemented, women with low income will access quality health care. Health services will be convenient and accessible. Programs that are implemented in health care will become a success because some of the issues and challenges will be overcome. Policies will be effective in meeting the needs of diverse groups in society. Gender analysis will contribute to the awareness of gender issues while enhancing the capabilities of women in society (Office For Women’s Policy, 2005, p. 5).

Research in gender analysis will inform the policy makers to formulate policies that will improve the quality of healthcare for women. Additionally, policies should be communicated to women, to whom the quality of healthcare services is directed (Muecke1996, p. 385).

World Health Organization (2002, p. 10) reveals that research provides a clear understanding of the issues in gender. Moreover, research can be effective in providing a solution for the challenges encountered in the analysis of gender. Research can also be used to set agendas and to determine the measures that are effective for prevailing problems.

Conclusion

Gender analysis mainly focuses on women. In health care, gender analysis eliminates the inequality related to gender, sustenance and meeting the goals of programs, identify issues and enable equal distribution of health resources to both genders of all social classes. Gender analysis informs policy formulation and is based on research.

Women of low income are more vulnerable than men. Gender analysis is a process that recognizes that men and women have different roles and are economically diverse. Women have been marginalized by the social institutions. Change will be realized if men and women collaborate. Gender analysis will improve the health of both genders if gender aware policies are implemented.

Reference List

Hunt, J. (2004). Introduction to gender analysis concepts and steps. Development Bulletin, 64, 100-106. Web.

Jackson, B. E., Pederson, A., & Boscoe, R. N. M. (2006). . Web.

Moana, E. (1999). Implementing the CEDAW Convention in Hong Kong: Gender Policy Analysis. Web.

Muecke, M. (1996). The gender analysis imperative: introduction to the special issue. Health care for women international, 17 (5): 385-392.

Office For Women’s Policy. (2005). Gender analysis. Web.

USAID. (2012). Gender Analysis Example: Health. Web.

Women and Healthcare Reform Group. (2009). Principles of Gender-Based Analysis of Health Care Reform. Web.

World Health Organization. (2002). Gender Analysis in Health. A review of selected tools. Web.

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