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Women Health. 2013;53(7):741-59. doi: 10.1080/03630242.2013.829169.

Gender inequities in health: an exploratory qualitative study of Saudi women's perceptions.

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a Department of Health Rehabilitation, King Saud University, and Community Health Department , College of Applied Medical Sciences , Riyadh , Saudi Arabia.


This study aimed to explore Saudi Arabian women's perceptions of how gendered social structures affect their health by understanding their perceptions of these influences on their health relative to those on men's health. Qualitative methods, including focus group discussions (FGDs) and in-depth individual interviews (IDIs) were conducted with 66 married women in Riyadh, the capital city. Participants were purposively sampled for maximum variation, including consideration of socio-economic status, age, educational level, health status and the use of healthcare. The majority of women perceived their health to be worse than men's and attributed this to their childbearing, domestic and care-giving roles, restrictions on their mobility, poverty and psychological stress related to their responsibilities for children, and marital conflict. A minority of participants felt that men's health was worse than women's and related this to their gendered roles as "breadwinners," greater mobility and masculine norms and identities. Gender equity should be a health policy priority to improve women's health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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