CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

This article summarises observations of gender differences in the HID survey with respect to the whole range of factors that make a situation of disability: from perceived health problems, through everyday difficulties, to implications for social life. These observations usefully contribute to debates about the health of men and women in light of a series of comparative paradoxes. The article stresses the need to take account of the effects of age on the gender structure of the population in order to assess the role of gender in observed differences. We deal successively with differences between men and women regarding deficiencies and their origin, incapacities, aspects of social participation, care, institutionalistion, and processus of disability designation. Our overview confirms the greater prevalence of deficiencies and incapacities among women, but also points to discrepancies between areas. It also points to a new paradox women’s disabilities are less recognised not just be society but by the women themselves.

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