Gender: key points

  • Gender and sex are linked concepts but have important differences. 
  • The 2010 Equality Act aimed to strengthen protection from discrimination and support progress on equality. It covers nine ‘protected characteristics’ of which sex is one. It replaced all previous anti-discrimination legislation.
  • Gender constructs can lead to gender stereotyping which is detrimental to health equality.
  • Gender is a determinant of health. Many health conditions, health behaviours, service access, and exposures to health risks from wider determinants vary by sex and gender.
  • Gender-based violence is a serious public health problem, which is being tackled through a national programme of work in the NHS and via the Scottish Government’s violence against women and girls strategy, Equally Safe

Section updates:

  • This section was updated in September 2017.
  • The next update is due to be carried out by end September 2018.