Letter - Understanding gender equity in the context of men’s health policy development

James A Smith, Steve Robertson, Noel Richardson

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The achievement of gender equity is central to improving health outcomes across the world. Indeed, this will be a foundation principle within the men's and women's health policies currently being developed by the Australian Government. For this to be meaningful and relevant to the 21st Century, it will be important to clearly define what gender equity means in the context of both men's and women's health. This is not just a case of ensuring that one policy does not have a bias over the other, but is about recognising that gender equity is fundamentally about sets of relations. The editorial in the August 2009 issue of the Health Promotion Journal of Australia5 seems somewhat limited in its interpretation of gender equity, failing to recognise the contested nature of the concept6 and collapsing all discussion down to one particular relation – men's propensity toward violence. Men and violence (both in terms of those who perpetrate and those who are victims) is clearly a key public health issue that requires serious and integrated policy action. Yet, it is by no means the only issue of concern for addressing gender inequities to improve men's (and women's) health in Australia in the 21st Century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-77
Number of pages2
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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