Decomposing gender inequalities in self-assessed health status in Liberia

Murendo, C and Murenje, G (2019) Decomposing gender inequalities in self-assessed health status in Liberia. Global Health Action (TSI), 11(3S) (160351). pp. 1-10. ISSN 1654-9716

[img] PDF (It is an Open Access article) - Published Version
Download (1MB)


Background: Understanding the magnitude of inequalities and drivers for reducing gender-related health inequalities is crucial in developing countries. This is particularly the case for Liberia with its very high level of gender-related inequalities in health and health outcomes. Objective: This paper assesses the magnitude of gender health inequalities and the relative contribution of different factors to health inequality in Liberia. Methods: Data came from the Liberian Household Income Expenditure Survey 2014. A two stage sampling methodology was used and 4,104 households were randomly selected and interviewed. The main variable of interest is dichotomised, good versus poor self-assessed health. Gender-related health inequality is assessed using the Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition for non-linear models. The decomposition reveals the magnitude of inequality and contributions of different factors. Results: We found large gender disparities (0.054, p < 0.01) characterised by women disadvantages in health status. In addition, the gender health disparities are mostly pronounced in rural areas. About 54% of the gender inequalities in health status were explained by the differences in endowments. Equalizing access to information, wealth and utilization of mosquito nets would reduce the gender gaps by 44, 5 and 4%, respectively. Conclusions: Addressing gender health inequalities inter alia requires access to health information (i.e. electronic and print media), gender responsive interventions that improve wealth in key sectors (i.e. education, employment, social protection, housing, and other appropriate infrastructure). In addition, the government, private sector and civil society should ensure that the health sector provides access to quality mosquito nets and improved health services including preventive care in order to reduce disease burden.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : East & Southern Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gender inequality; health; non-linear; decomposition; Liberia; West Africa; Africa
Subjects: Others
Others > Africa
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2019 05:38
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2019 05:38
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: We thank anonymous referees for useful comments as well as the World Bank for making the Liberia Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2014-2015 data available.
View Statistics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item