Some of the sociocultural factors that prevent women and girls to benefit from quality health services and attaining the best possible level of health include:
- unequal power relationships between men and women;
- social norms that decrease education and paid employment opportunities;
- an exclusive focus on women’s reproductive roles; and
- potential or actual experience of physical, sexual and emotional violence.
While poverty is an important barrier to positive health outcomes for both men and women, poverty tends to yield a higher burden on women and girls’ health due to, for example, feeding practices (malnutrition) and use of unsafe cooking fuels (COPD).