School of Social and Political Sciences - Research Publications

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    Gender Equality and Health in High-Income Countries: A Systematic Review of Within-Country Indicators of Gender Equality in Relation to Health Outcomes.
    Milner, A ; Kavanagh, A ; Scovelle, AJ ; O'Neil, A ; Kalb, G ; Hewitt, B ; King, TL (Mary Ann Liebert, 2021)
    Background: Gender equality is recognized as an important political, social, and economic goal in many countries around the world. At a country level, there is evidence that gender equality may have an important influence on health. Historically gender equality has mainly been measured to allow for between-country, rather than within-country comparisons; and the association between gender equality and health outcomes within countries has been under-researched. This article thus aimed to systematically review within-country indicators of gender equality in public health studies and assess the extent to which these are related to health outcomes. Materials and Methods: We used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) approach with two independent reviewers. Results: Data from the eight included studies revealed that there was heterogeneity in the way gender equality has been measured as a multidimensional construct. Associations between gender equality and a number of different health outcomes were apparent, including mortality, mental health, morbidity, alcohol consumption, and intimate partner violence, with gender equality mostly associated with better health outcomes. Conclusions: Further investigation into the effects of gender equality on health outcomes, including a clear conceptualization of terms, is critical for the development of policies and programs regarding gender equality.
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    Shifts in gender equality and suicide: A panel study of changes over time in 87 countries.
    Milner, A ; Scovelle, AJ ; Hewitt, B ; Maheen, H ; Ruppanner, L ; King, TL (Elsevier, 2020-11-01)
    BACKGROUND: Increasing gender equality remains an imperative for countries and organisations worldwide, and is associated with the improved life outcomes of men and women. Unlike many health and wellbeing indicators, death by suicide is more common among men, but suicidal behaviours are more common among women. Understanding of the relationship between gender equality and suicide is inchoate, and limited to cross-sectional work. We sought to address this gap by examining within-country changes in gender equality over time, in relation to suicide rates. METHODS: Data from 87 countries for the years 2006-2016 were used in this analysis. Gender Equality was measured using the Gender Gap Index (GGI), produced by the World Economic Forum. Male and female suicide rates came from the World Health Organization. Fixed and random-effects unbalanced panel regression models were used, adjusting for: GDP/capita; population; urban/rural ratio; number of children/person;% unemployed; year. Models were stratified by gender. RESULTS: Increasing within-country gender equality was associated with a significant reduction in suicide rates for women (Coef. -7.08, 95% CI -12.35 to -1.82, p = 0.009). For men, there was insufficient evidence that increasing within-country gender equality was associated with reduced within-country suicide rates (Coef. -5.76, 95% CI -19.40 to 7.86, p = 0.403). LIMITATIONS: The reporting and collection of suicide data is known to vary across countries. CONCLUSION: There is evidence that within-country increases in gender equality are associated with significant reductions in within-country suicide-rates for women. More research is needed to understand the drivers of these associations.