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Document Typology: Report
Methodology addressed by the publication:Parents pedagogy
Title of document: Women's health
Name of author(s): Ruta Nadisauskiene,Ramune Kalediene
Name of publisher: FindArticles / Health / Reproductive Health Matters / Nov, 2002
Language of the publication: English
Language of the review: English
Health is an exquisitely sensitive mirror of social circumstances. This paper looks at the situation of women's health in Lithuania in the context of the social, political and economic transition in the country. Based on data on inequalities in health, it focuses on sexual and reproductive health issues and the challenges for health policy and programme development for improving the health of women.
Inequalities in womens health
Tackling social inequalities and inequities in health has been identified as a major challenge in reforming health systems both in developed and developing countries [6]. Problems related to inequalities in health are of particular importance in countries undergoing social, economic, and political transition. For a fuller understanding of factors leading to inequalities in health it is necessary to consider the cultural context
the country. Health inequalities become "unfair" when poor health is itself the consequence of an unjust distribution of the underlying social determinants of health [7]. However, the mechanisms giving rise to inequalities in health are still imperfectly understood, and evidence remains to be gathered on the effectiveness of interventions to reduce such inequalities.
Reviewer's comments on the document:
Inequalities in health are avoidable to the extent that they stem from identifiable policies, such as tax policy, regulation of business, welfare benefits and health care funding. Women's economic situation, for example, a prerequisite for health, is generally less favourable than that of men in Lithuania. Even though unemployment among women is lower than for men (10.8% vs. 12.3% in 2000), women's average monthly gross earnings are lower than men's [8].The rapid political, economic and social changes occurring in the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania fundamentally affect female health. Demographic trends, morbidity and mortality indicators point to a general decline in the status of women’s health in the three Baltic republics since their independence from the Soviet Union. The transition period from socialist to market economy has clearly taken a toll in women’s health. These have to be taken into consideration by health authorities in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia as well as the European Union during the undergoing reforms being planned for healthcare systems in all EU countries in accession. The Baltic countries share a similar sociodemographic patterning of health with most European countries, i.e. the lower educated have worse health. The methodological considerations of this study point out, however, that further research is needed to support public health policies aimed at the most vulnerable population groups.
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