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Interface - Comunicação, Saúde, Educação

Print version ISSN 1414-3283


BARBOSA, Regina Helena Simões; MENEZES, Clarissa Alves Fernandes de; DAVID, Helena Maria Scherlowski Leal  and  BORNSTEIN, Vera Joana. Gender and healthcare work: a critical view of community health agents' work. Interface (Botucatu) [online]. 2012, vol.16, n.42, pp.751-765. ISSN 1414-3283.

The findings from an interdisciplinary study on the work of community health agents (CHAs) are presented. A critical gender-based approach was used to understand the intertwining of gender socialization and professional qualification in a precarious type of work that makes use of poor women's labor in peripheral countries. An understanding was sought among the CHAs regarding the relative advantages of this work (which allows them to reconcile productive and reproductive tasks) and the exploitation issues to which they are subjected. Gender socialization delineating the ideology of the "caring woman" was used, which is appropriate for this type of work. The data revealed that the CHAs made efforts to try, with their own precarious resources, to respond to the enormous demands and social needs of their communities. This generated stress, distress and related illnesses, in addition to their long working days with low remuneration and precarious labor contracts.

Keywords : Gender identidy; Healthcare work; Community health agents.

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