Language, Culture and Health: the Gender Divide
It is well known that gender disparities affect human development. These disparities are far-reaching and have a significant negative impact on health outcomes. This paper examines and demonstrates the use of proverbs as a learning tool to help health policy makers and service providers understand how deep-rooted sociocultural perspectives influence and shape public perceptions of gender roles. Many, if not most, public and private health care providers and planners are aware that the design and provision of health services should recognize the different constraints and opportunities men and women face in attaining health, but they still encounter difficulty implementing actions that take this into account. An analysis of proverbs can facilitate self-awareness of gender biases, and engage participants in deeper and more sincere dialogue about possible solutions that can lead to development of gender-sensitive health policy approaches better designed to result in improved gender equity in health.