A socially excluded space: restrictions on access to health care for older women in rural Bangladesh

Qual Health Res. 2010 Sep;20(9):1192-201. doi: 10.1177/1049732310370695. Epub 2010 May 12.


This study was an exploration of the experiences of 17 women, age 60 or more years, from Bangladesh. The women were asked about decision-making processes with respect to their access to health care and whether they perceived that there were differences based on age and sex in the way a household responds to an illness episode. The overall theme that characterized their experiences was "being in a socially excluded space." The themes that explained this perception of social exclusion included gender- and age-based social practices, gender- and class-based economic practices, religious beliefs that restricted the mobility of women, and social constructions of health and illness that led the women to avoid seeking health care. We conclude that the Bangladesh constitutional guarantee that disparities will be eliminated in access to health care between rich and poor, men and women, rural and urban residents, and younger and older citizens has not yet been realized.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Bangladesh
  • Female
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prejudice*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Isolation
  • Socioeconomic Factors