9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN16 Sociology of Health and Illness

2009-09-03 09:00:00 2009-09-03 10:30:00 Thursday, 3 September 09:00 - 10:30 Gender and Gender Challanges in European Health Care Building I, 1E2

How to Mainstream gender policies into healthcare? A comparison of governance in England and Germany

How to mainstream gender policies into healthcare? A comparison of governance in England and Germany
Ellen Annandale, University of Leicester, UK and Ellen Kuhlmann, University of Bath

Address for correspondence:
Ellen Annandale Department of Sociology, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, United Kingdom, Email: eca7@le.ac.uk

Across the globe the concept of gender mainstreaming is indicative of substantive political and social change, and healthcare is a particularly important policy arena. Existing research reveals however only meagre success in the implementation of gender policies in national contexts, despite clear supranational guidelines. This paper aims to map out the spaces for gender policies within a fluid environment of the changing governance of healthcare by using cross-country comparison. We choose England and Germany as case studies that will serve to develop a robust methodological framework for an expanded cross-country comparison. Both countries have introduced extensive modernisation agendas with new managerial regimes as a particular facilitator towards improved performance of providers and quality of care. We use National Service Frameworks in England and Disease Management Programmes in Germany for an in-depth analysis of the diffusion of gender approaches into new policies. The analysis draws on key documents and expert interviews with a range of institutional players and policy entrepreneurs in both countries to develop a conceptual approach that links different levels of governance.

Our results highlight that changes in the governance of healthcare do provide opportunities for integrating gender sensitive approaches. However, opportunities are heavily shaped by national configurations of the ?healthcare state? and the specific intersections between institutional, organisational and professional governance practices. Our comparative study also raises more general questions on health policy convergence and the tensions between supranational policies and national healthcare states.