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Scripta Scientifica Medica

Health implications of sex and gender differences in the labour market

R. Velichkovski


Due to the inequalities in health with regards to sex stereotyping there are some differences in the labour market between men and women that usually increase health risk for them. Work involves expo- sures to risks and hazards that can impair health, which are related to both physical (such as repetitive work- ing movements, sustained static postures, night work, long hours, violence, noise, vibration, cold, chemicals) and psychosocial exposures (e.g. stress, lack of social support, lack of respect, discrimination, psychological and sexual harassment). Material and Methods: The paper relies on a desk-study and a review of existing data from the official relevant institutions working on this issue. This paper presents just a part of massive explo- sion of researches made on sex differences and sex role in the labour market that has occurred, to answer to the question whether sex stereotyping in such market increase health risk for both men and women. Results: Although equal treatment of men and women at work has long been a principle of both European law and the law of Member States, the enforcement of this right is often problematic. Gender refers to the varied and com- plex arrangements between men and women. Indirect discrimination and unequal pay for different work of equal value are two examples of unequal treatment that the average worker will not easily challenge.There- fore, gender-sensitive national policies for health at work and development of policy tools should be developed and strengthened. Special concerns should be devoted to gender assessment of existing legislation and policies including threshold limit values, physical work loads, and risks within female-dominated occupations. Discus- sion: In order to strengthen gender sensitive issues in policy and research, having in mind the biological differ- ences, it is important to establish rules and regulations that promote full and equal participation of both men and women in the labour market.


sex stereotyping; male; female; labour market; health inequalities

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R. Velichkovski
Republic of Macedonia

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