Using human rights based approaches to conceptualise lesbian and bisexual women’s health inequalities

Date

2010

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

0966-0410

Volume Title

Publisher

Wiley Blackwell

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

This article makes a contribution to current debates in human rightsbased approaches to lesbian and bisexual (LB) women’s health. With reference to concepts embodied in the Yogyakarta Principles, it is proposed that the right to health includes access to health information, participation, equity, equality and non-discrimination. Specifically, the article examines how LB women’s health can be considered as a health inequality and discusses international developments to reduce disparities. Drawing on qualitative data collected in an online survey, the article reports on sexual minority women’s experiences of health-care. Participants were recruited via a purposive sampling strategy; questionnaires were completed by 6490 respondents of whom 5909 met the study criteria of residence in the UK, sexual orientation and completing the survey once. Analysis revealed four broad themes: heteronormativity in health-care; improving attitudes among healthcare professionals; equality in access; raising awareness and informed communities. The accounts highlight the centrality of human rights principles: fairness, respect, equality, dignity and autonomy. The implications for healthcare policy and practice are discussed including ways to empower staff and service users with knowledge and skills and ensuring non-discrimination in health service delivery

Description

Keywords

access to health-care, health inequalities, human rights, sexual

Citation

Fish, J. and Bewley, S. (2010) Using human rights based approaches to conceptualise lesbian and bisexual women’s health inequalities. Health & Social Care in the Community, 18 (4) pp. 355-362.

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care