Gender Policies and Gender Inequalities in Health in Europe: Results of the SOPHIE Project

Laia Palència, Deborah De Moortel, Lucía Artazcoz, María Salvador-Piedrafita, Vanessa Puig-Barrachina, Emma Hagqvist, Glòria Pérez, Marisol E. Ruiz, Sara Trujillo-Alemán, Christophe Vanroelen, Davide Malmusi, Carme Borrell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The aim of this article is to explain the results of the SOPHIE project regarding the effect of gender policies on gender inequalities in health in Europe. We start with the results of a systematic review on how gender regimes and gender equality policies at the country level impact women's health and gender inequalities in health. Then, we report on three empirical analyses on the relationship between different family policy models existing in Europe and gender inequalities in health. Finally we present four case studies on specific examples of gender policies or determinants of gender inequalities in health. The results show that policies that support women's participation in the labor force and decrease their burden of care, such as public services and support for families and entitlements for fathers, are related to lower levels of gender inequality in terms of health. In addition, public services and benefits for disabled and dependent people can reduce the burden placed on family caregivers and hence improve their health. In the context of the current economic crisis, gender equality policies should be maintained or improved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-82
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Health Services
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Europe
  • gender inequalities
  • gender policies
  • health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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