The health of women in Scotland is particularly poor, and this is compounded by levels of deprivation and poverty. Although women live longer than men, they experience greater levels of ill health due to poverty, childbearing and old age (source: Gender Audit 2000, Engender).
Of course, some of the health services that women and men require are different because of the biological differences between the two sexes. But their gender differences - the differences in their cultural, social and economic roles and the assumptions that people make about them simply because they are male or female - can also have an impact on the health services that they need and the health services that they currently have access to.
Women are also disproportionately represented as carers of other family members who are suffering from ill-health and this has an impact on their ability to participate in the labour market, education and other aspects of life in Scotland. Gender has an impact not only on women and men's experiences of good and poor health, but it may also have an impact on access to healthcare, resources and exposure to risk. The importance of gender differentials in this area cannot be over-stated.
Men and Women in Scotland: A Statistical Profile (2001) See Chapter 6: Health and Care
Scottish Household Survey Bulletin No.5 (2001) See Chapter 6: Health & Lifestyle