Inequalities between men and women

June 30, 2014 by Catherine Geoffroy

IInégalités hommes femmes

The inequalities between men and women are constructed over their lifetimes and can differ depending on their socio-cultural contexts. Assigned identities, social representations and economic positions are just a few of the major factors of this construct.  

Old age crystallizes these inequalities, which have been accumulated over a lifetimes and which lead men and women to age differently. For example, it used to be that if a family member needed home care, the woman of the house was expected to be the caregiver. She therefore had to adjust her work schedule or give up working altogether, as she was providing the necessary care herself. The man of the house was more of a care and service manager.

To what extent are the inequalities in the areas of family, finance, and the health of elderly men and women passed down from generation to generation? There is now a convergence in the way to take care of a person who needs help. More and more women are service managers, making sure these services are provided to the person in question.

There are, however, divergences between elderly men and women, such as aging-related stress. Because men’s networks are mainly professional, they often find retirement more difficult. Women, however, go through this transition more smoothly. This ability to adapt can be explained by the fact that women develop their social skills throughout their lifetimes.

This information was mainly taken from an interview, produced by AQG, with Jean-Pierre Lavoie, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, UQAM and retired researcher. For more information on the topic, listen to our interviews with several specialists (French only), which are available on our Web site at www.aqg- Select the L’âgisme, parlons-en ! tab, then click Je m’outille and select Entrevues radio.

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