British men have died at a younger age than British women since at least the time of Queen Victoria’s accession and they will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
This is not some strange peculiarity of these islands: the pattern is repeated throughout every region of the world. There is not a single country where men outlive women. In both the UK and globally, there is currently a four-year difference in life expectancy between the sexes.
It is a paradox that while we live in a society in which men mostly hold the key positions of power, health policymakers and service providers have not been directed to address this inequality.
Men’s health is notable by its absence in most global and national health policies and funding programmes. An analysis of the World Bank’s gender and global health programme showed that it paid scant attention to men’s health issues.
Only three countries – Australia, Brazil and Ireland – have introduced national men’s health policies. Iran is thought to be preparing a policy but news from the health ministry in Tehran is sketchy.