Women's health politics in Japan and Britain: comparative perspectives

Lesley Doyal

in Comparing social policies

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9781861343666
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301967 | DOI:
Women's health politics in Japan and Britain: comparative perspectives

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Japan and Britain are both industrialised countries and have similar health care systems with universal provision. Women have very high life expectancies in each of these countries, at 85 years-of-age in Japan and 81 in Britain. Yet, at the heart of the criticisms lies a common concern with women's entitlement to effective and appropriate health care. However, closer examination reveals significant differences in the form of these activities as well as their immediate goals. These in turn can be linked to wider differences in the nature of feminist politics in the two countries. This chapter explores the ways in which living in Japan and Britain has shaped women's perceptions of their health care needs. It reviews the nature of women's health activism in each setting, and concludes with a summary of some of the common challenges now facing women as they fight for a healthier society.

Keywords: health care systems; Japan; Britain; women's health; health activism; feminist politics

Chapter.  6966 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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