Global Resources

Evidence on gender inequities in social health protection: the case of women living in rural areas

Author: X. Scheil-Adlung, C. Kuhl
Publisher: International Labour Organization
Publication Date: Jan 2012

While in many low- and middle-income countries, urban women have had better opportunities to join growing formal economies, rural women are often stuck in harsh living and working conditions in informal economies. The aim of this report is to examine and provide evidence of inequalities in social health protection experienced by rural women. Due to questions of data availability, the report focuses on two aspects of health: utilization of maternal health care and antiretroviral treatment. Further, the report examines the specific barriers to utilization of health services for women in rural areas, and the systemic weaknesses for rural women, such as gender-blind financing mechanisms. Because the root causes of the identified inequities are complex and cannot be addressed by social protection alone, the authors argue that effectively eliminating issues of access for women in rural areas requires a coherent policy approach in health, social and economic sectors.