Looking twice at the gender equity index for public health impact

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Title: Looking twice at the gender equity index for public health impact
Authors: Fernández-Sáez, José | Ruiz-Cantero, María Teresa | Guijarro Garví, Marta | Carrasco Portiño, Mercedes | Roca Pérez, Victoria | Chilet Rosell, Elisa | Álvarez-Dardet, Carlos
Research Group/s: Salud Pública
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Enfermería Comunitaria, Medicina Preventiva y Salud Pública e Historia de la Ciencia
Keywords: Gender equity | Index | Education | Empowerment | Income
Knowledge Area: Medicina Preventiva y Salud Pública
Issue Date: 16-Jul-2013
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: Fernández-Sáez et al.: Looking twice at the gender equity index for public health impact. BMC Public Health 2013 13:659. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-659
Abstract: Background: It has been shown that gender equity has a positive impact on the everyday activities of people (decision making, income allocation, application and observance of norms/rules) which affect their health. Gender equity is also a crucial determinant of health inequalities at national level; thus, monitoring is important for surveillance of women’s and men’s health as well as for future health policy initiatives. The Gender Equity Index (GEI) was designed to show inequity solely towards women. Given that the value under scrutiny is equity, in this paper a modified version of the GEI is proposed, the MGEI, which highlights the inequities affecting both sexes. Methods: Rather than calculating gender gaps by means of a quotient of proportions, gaps in the MGEI are expressed in absolute terms (differences in proportions). The Spearman’s rank coefficient, calculated from country rankings obtained according to both indexes, was used to evaluate the level of concordance between both classifications. To compare the degree of sensitivity and obtain the inequity by the two methods, the variation coefficient of the GEI and MGEI values was calculated. Results: Country rankings according to GEI and MGEI values showed a high correlation (rank coef. = 0.95). The MGEI presented greater dispersion (43.8%) than the GEI (19.27%). Inequity towards men was identified in the education gap (rank coef. = 0.36) when using the MGEI. According to this method, many countries shared the same absolute value for education but with opposite signs, for example Azerbaijan (−0.022) and Belgium (0.022), reflecting inequity towards women and men, respectively. This also occurred in the empowerment gap with the technical and professional job component (Brunei:-0.120 vs. Australia, Canada Iceland and the U.S.A.: 0.120). Conclusion: The MGEI identifies and highlights the different areas of inequities between gender groups. It thus overcomes the shortcomings of the GEI related to the aim for which this latter was created, namely measuring gender equity, and is therefore of great use to policy makers who wish to understand and monitor the results of specific equity policies and to determine the length of time for which these policies should be maintained in order to correct long-standing structural discrimination against women.
Sponsor: This research was funded by the Institute of Women, Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality (Ref. 112–09) and has been presented orally in “Health and equity in all policies” (SEE-SESPAS), Madrid, October 6-7th 2011.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/33729
ISSN: 1471-2458
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-659
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2013 Fernández-Sáez et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-13-659
Appears in Collections:INV - SP - Artículos de Revistas
Institucional - IUIEG - Publicaciones

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