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A tool to analyse gender mainstreaming and care-giving models in support plans for informal care: case studies in Andalusia and the United Kingdom
  1. María del Mar García-Calvente1,2,
  2. Esther Castaño-López1,
  3. Inmaculada Mateo-Rodríguez1,2,
  4. Gracia Maroto-Navarro1,2,
  5. María Teresa Ruiz-Cantero2,3
  1. 1
    Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública, Granada, Spain
  2. 2
    Red de Investigación en Salud y Género, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo, Spain
  3. 3
    Medicina Preventiva y Salud Pública, Universidad de Alicante, Alicante, Spain
  1. Maria del Mar García-Calvente, Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública, Campus Universitario de Cartuja, Apartado de Correos 2070, E-18080 Granada, Spain; mariadelmar.garcia.easp{at}


Objective: To present a tool to analyse the design of support plans for informal care from a gender perspective, using the plans in Andalusia and the United Kingdom as case studies.

Methodology: A tool was drawn up to analyse gender mainstreaming and care-giving models involved in the documents. In the gender mainstreaming aspect, a symbolic dimension (gender mainstreaming in the plan’s theoretical framework and analysis of situation) and an operational dimension (gender mainstreaming in the plan’s proposals and actions) were defined. Four care-giving models were analysed using the following categories: the plan’s definition of carer, focal point of interest, objectives and acknowledgement or otherwise of conflict of interests. A qualitative discourse analysis methodology was used.

Results: The analysis tool used shows that the plans do not incorporate gender mainstreaming systematically, but there are interesting aspects from a gender perspective that are present at both a symbolic and an operational level. Both plans use a combination of care-giving models, but the model for superseding informal care is not included in either plan.

Conclusions: The proposed tool proved useful for the examination of the gender perspective in the formulation of the plans selected for analysis. Both plans introduce measures to improve the quality of life of informal carers. However, gender mainstreaming also implies interventions that will change situations of sexual inequality and injustice that occur in informal care in the long term. Likewise, aspects of feminist theory must be considered in order to draw up plans and policies that are sensitive to informal care and the emancipation of women carers.

  • gender mainstreaming
  • informal care
  • women’s health
  • health policy
  • dependence

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  • Funding: The Women’s Health Observatory of the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs, Spanish Government, financed this investigation.

  • Competing interests: none.

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