Sex refers to the biological differences between men and women, whereas gender refers to the socially constructed characteristics of women and men such as norms, roles, and relationships of and between groups of women and men. These relations influence people’s susceptibility to different health conditions and diseases. They affect employment of good mental- and physical health, and levels of wellbeing. These relations also have a bearing on people’s access to and uptake of health services and on the health outcomes they experience throughout the life-course.
This Policy Précis analyses gender-based differences in social determinants and related health outcomes and why they persist. It looks at EU policies and programmes, as well as national initiatives (in Austria, Finland, Germany and Ireland) to redress the balance which are already in place, and how further progress can be made.