National men’s health policies: can they help?

Peter Baker
Trends in Urology & Men’s Health, v.6, Issue 6, p.24–26, November/December 2015
Published online: 2 December 2015


“Despite the many serious health problems facing men, few countries have national strategies. In this article, Peter Baker reviews the national men’s health strategy in Ireland and looks at how effective these policies have proved in some other countries […] Beyond Ireland, it is now increasingly understood that health policies and practices that take specific account of sex and gender differences are required. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that: ‘To respond to gender inequities in health, men’s health status and behaviour must be recognized as resulting as much from the social construction of gender as women’s … Violence, unsafe sexual contact, smoking, alcohol and drug consumption, and higher suicide rates contribute to premature death among men. Gender heavily influences these risk factors and the health sector is not considering it fully when designing policies and programmes.’[…] The evidence from all three countries with national men’s health policies suggests that they are certainly not a panacea, but that they can make a significant contribution. This has been summarised as: • Identifying men’s health as a priority area • Creating a vision and identity for ‘men’s health’ • Acting as a blueprint and resource for practitioners and ongoing health policy development • Providing the leverage for expanding men’s health work, particularly at an intersectoral and interdepartmental level • Acting as a catalyst for increased men’s health activity in other areas (eg health promotion, occupational and workplace health, community development projects) • Providing a platform for further action to deliver effective gender mainstreaming that embeds men’s health policy within the wider policy landscape…

KeywordsPalabras clave:

Gender and Health; National Men’s Health; Public Health Strategy; Ireland; Australia; Brazil

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