Chapter

Family caregiving: a gender-based analysis of women's experiences

Christina Lee

in Chronic and Terminal Illness: new perspectives on caring and carers

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780192631671
Published online November 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191730191 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192631671.003.0007
Family caregiving: a gender-based analysis of women's experiences

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Family caregiving falls disproportionately on women. Several surveys have suggested that the majority of caregivers are women and, in some parts of the world, gender bias is more predominant, such as in Tokyo. In the current political and economic climate, public support for the disabled and the ill is inadequate, hence responsibility for alleviating pain and caregiving falls largely on families. This arrangement seems less costly compared to adequate social services because the costs to the caregivers are not considered. However, caregiving has a great impact on the health and welfare of a caregiver. In the increasing family caregiving arrangements, women are often designated as caregivers because of gender bias and the perception that giving care is naturally the work of women. This chapter provides a longitudinal study of 42,000 women representative of the Australian population. It uses quantitative and qualitative analyses of the impact of caregiving in the lives of Australian women to demonstrate the burden of family caregiving and to illustrate the gender-based assumptions that encourage the biased distribution of family caregiving.

Keywords: family caregiving; women; gender bias; gender-based assumptions; gender

Chapter.  8885 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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