Gender Equality and the Global Gender Gap in Life Expectancy : An Exploratory Analysis of 152 Countries

Mateos, José Tomás and Fernández-Sáez, José and Marcos-Marcos, Jorge and Álvarez-Dardet, Carlos and Bambra, Clare and Popay, Jennie and Baral, Kedar and Musolino, Connie and Baum, Fran (2022) Gender Equality and the Global Gender Gap in Life Expectancy : An Exploratory Analysis of 152 Countries. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 11 (6). pp. 740-746. ISSN 2322-5939

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When looking at life expectancy (LE) by sex, women live longer than men in all countries. Biological factors alone do not explain gender differences in LE, and examining structural differences may help illuminate other explanatory factors. The aim of this research is to analyse the influence of gender inequality on the gender gap in LE globally. We have carried out a regression analysis between the gender gap in relativised LE and the UN Gender Inequality Index (GII), with a sensitivity analysis conducted for its three dimensions, stratified by the six World Health Organization (WHO) regions. We adjusted the model by taking into consideration gross national income (GNI), democratic status and rural population. The results indicated a positive association for the European region (ß=0.184) and the Americas (ß=0.136) in our adjusted model. Conversely, for the African region, the relations between gender equality and the LE gender gap were found to be negative (ß=-0.125). The findings suggest that in the WHO European region and the Americas, greater gender equality leads to a narrowing of the gender LE gap, while it has a contrary relationship in Africa. We suggest that this could be because only higher scores in the GII between men and women show health benefits.

Item Type:
Journal Article
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International Journal of Health Policy and Management
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© 2020 The Author(s); Published by Kerman University of Medical Sciences. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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29 Jan 2021 21:15
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28 Nov 2023 11:35