Notification

23 million people in the Horn, East and Central Africa are facing facing severe levels of hunger. Donate now.

Available documents

No available documents


Oxfam Policy & Practice provides free access to Gender & Development and Development in Practice journal articles.

Download from publisher

Overview

This paper applies an intersectional lens to health in informal urban settlements in Freetown, Sierra Leone. We explored how intersecting social characteristics including gender, age, wealth, occupation, and tenant status influence health and well-being outcomes. We found that hazardous environmental conditions, poor waste disposal, and waste burning contribute to health problems at a neighbourhood level. Health-care access was also generally poor in informal settlements. However, beyond this, there were differences in people’s experiences of coping with health burdens and accessing care. Against a backdrop of limited state support, coping and access strategies were found to be heavily mediated by people’s social positions and status, especially their ability to draw on support from social networks. There are particular challenges around the management of prolonged health problems. For population groups such as the old and the chronically ill, this creates further vulnerabilities including social isolation, stigma, and cycles of poverty. Although intersecting power dynamics apply to men too, women are particularly disadvantaged by coalescing social inequalities: they are both expected to perform caring roles but are less likely to be cared for. Young and old women were especially vulnerable and reliant on external support or self-sacrifice. This paper contributes to knowledge gaps in intersectional dynamics in urban settings and provides evidence that suggests policy shifts are needed to address the multiple social and health inequalities faced by women in informal settlements in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Additional details

Publisher(s)

Editor(s)

DOI

10.1080/13552074.2021.1885215

How to cite this resource

Citation styles vary so we recommend you check what is appropriate for your context.  You may choose to cite Oxfam resources as follows:

Author(s)/Editor(s). (Year of publication). Title and sub-title. Place of publication: name of publisher. DOI (where available). URL

Our FAQs page has some examples of this approach.

Related resources

Here are similar items you might be interested in.

Browse all resources