The welfare state as a determinant of women's health: support for women's quality of life in Canada and four comparison nations

Health Policy. 2004 Apr;68(1):63-79. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2003.08.003.


The case is made that characteristics associated with the advanced welfare state in industrialised nations are primary contributors to women's quality of life. This is so since women's health and well-being are particularly sensitive to decisions made in relation to the spending priorities of governments, the extent to which services are provided, and the degree to which women are supported in moves towards equity. Data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, United Nations Human Development Program, and other sources are used to examine these influences upon quality of life of women in Canada as compared to that of women in Denmark, Sweden, the UK and the US. A consistent pattern was seen by which national features impacting on women's quality of life are more likely to be seen in nations with a social welfare orientation as compared to nations with market approaches to policy development.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Child Day Care Centers / economics
  • Child, Preschool
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Home Care Services / economics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Long-Term Care / economics
  • Public Policy*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Social Support
  • Social Welfare / economics
  • Social Welfare / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Social Welfare / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Welfare / trends
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sociology, Medical
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Women's Health* / economics