Table of Contents

Handbook on Gender and Health

Handbook on Gender and Health

International Handbooks on Gender series

Edited by Jasmine Gideon

This Handbook brings together a groundbreaking collection of chapters that uses a gender lens to explore health, healthcare and health policy in both the Global South and North. Empirical evidence is drawn from a variety of different settings and points to the many ways in which the gendered dimensions of health have become reworked across the globe.

Chapter 1: Gender and health: an introduction

Jasmine Gideon

Subjects: development studies, family and gender policy, social policy and sociology, family and gender policy, health policy and economics


This volume brings together the contributions of 56 leading writers on gender and health from a wide range of countries spanning Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The chapters included in the Handbook offer a wealth of knowledge, theoretical reflection and empirical evidence on a diversity of topics that I selected as essential elements of a discussion around gender and health. The importance of gender inequality as a critical determinant of health has been widely acknowledged (Marmot et al., 2008) and there has been a widespread acceptance of the need to mainstream gender into its analysis. Nevertheless, significant gaps remain between policy and practice, and addressing gender issues in health requires more than merely ensuring women gain better access to services and resources within the health sector (Gideon, 2012; Hawkes and Buse, 2013; Payne, 2014). The discussion within the book emphasizes the need to move beyond the ‘add women and stir’ approach that is still frequently found in practice, despite all we now know about the complexities of seeking to achieve gender equality (Chant and Sweetman, 2012; Razavi, 2012). Much of the existing debate around gender and health has been primarily concerned with health outcomes; in contrast the discussion presented in this edited collection seeks to capture the multi-determinants of health and well-being as well as the organizational and institutional structure of the design and delivery of health care.