Social Roles, Environment, and Gender Differences in Disability and Function in Egypt and Tunisia

Kathryn M. Yount, Emory University

Research on gender disparities in child survival and health is abundant, yet similar studies in later life are limited. We compare levels of disability among women and men in Egypt and Tunisia and examine whether underlying illnesses, family structure, and living conditions account for observed differences. Adjusted levels of functional limitation are higher for women than men, but adjusted levels of disability are comparable. In Egypt, differences in disability are sensitive to family and environmental controls, and differences in functional limitation are sensitive to family controls. Findings caution against sole use of reported health in studies of gender and aging in patriarchal settings.

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Presented in Session 42: Social Environment and Adult Health in Developing Countries