Gender is relevant for understanding the state of health of women and men. In general, women have a greater life expectancy than men, although that does not mean that they enjoy a better quality of life. For example, emotional health-related illnesses, such as anxiety or depression, affect more women than men.

On the other hand, socio-economic inequalities are a determining fact in state of health, and gender influences the access to resources, living conditions and the rules of behaviour for men and women.


The quality of a person’s state of health goes beyond absences of physical illnesses. Work overload, greater responsibility in the care of others and more socio-economic precariousness put women in worse states of health.

Having healthy habits and a healthy lifestyle improves people’s quality of life. The fact is that masculinity is linked socially to risk and transgression is closely connected to a higher consumption of harmful and toxic substances, such as tobacco, alcohol and drugs.

Labour conditions have a powerful effect on citizens’ health. Even though men suffer more accidents at work, work-related emotional health disorders, such as anxiety and depression, have a greater impact on women.

Sexual health is one aspect of well-being and the physical and emotional health of people which is based on the right to enjoy a safe sexual life, free of discrimination or violence. Violating sexual and reproductive rights, such as the right to abortion, assisted reproduction and access to healthcare mainly affects women.