Women's Health in the oPt: Inclusion and Exclusion

in collaboration with Birzeit University

LSE PI: Dr Ernestina Coast
Co-PI: Professor Rita Giacaman
Duration: May 2014–October 2015

Physicians for Human Rights / Flickr.com

The long-running and ongoing conflict in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) has had a large impact on the quality of life and wellbeing of Palestinians. A study conducted following the 2008–2009 war on Gaza revealed poor health-related quality of life (QOL) among adults, with significant associations between low QOL and war-related factors like distress, insecurity and suffering, and with women reporting worse QOL scores compared to men. The health-related impacts of conflict have significant gender associations, though they remain under-researched. Based on the limited evidence available therefore, it can be said that Palestinian women suffer higher than expected rates of chronic diseases compared to women in comparable parts of the Arab World.

Taking into account such gender differentials, this research sought to investigate whether there are significant differences in the health of sub-groups of women. Specifically, the research addressed the implications of the variations in availability, accessibility, and quality of women’s health services, taking into account associated demographic, socio-economic and political factors. Four groups of women whose health needs are neglected (or at best poorly served) in the oPt were identified: women who marry under age 18, never-married women, married women who are not pregnant, and menopausal women.

The results were published in a series of articles and policy briefs, which can be downloaded below.

This project forms part of the Academic Collaboration with Arab Universities Programme, funded by the Emirates Foundation.

Policy Briefs

Health problems reported by 15–54 year old women two weeks preceding the Family Health Survery 2010. ICPH, 2016.

Self-rated health of 15-54 year old women. ICPH, 2016.

The prevalence of reported anemia and its determinants among 15-54 year-old Palestinian women. ICPH, 2016.


Maternal and child access to care and intensity of conflict in the occupied Palestinian territory: a pseudo longitudinal analysis (2000–2014)Conflict and Health, 13(36), August 2019.

Women’s health in the occupied Palestinian territories: contextual influences on subjective and objective health measuresPLoS ONE, 2017.

Age of despair or age of hope? Palestinian women’s perspectives of midlife healthSocial Science & Medicine, 2017.

Health differentials among women aged 15–54 years in the occupied Palestinian territories: a cross-sectional study of data from the Palestinian Family Health Survey 2010The Lancet, 390(S28), 2017.

Maternal and child health outcomes and intensity of conflict in the occupied Palestinian territory: a pseudo longitudinal analysis of the 2000-2014 periodThe Lancet Palestinian Health Alliance (LPHA) Eighth Annual Conference (Unpublished), 2017.

Research Team


Ernestina Coast | Principal Investigator

Ernestina is Associate Professor in Population Studies in the Department of Social Policy at LSE. 


Rita Giacaman | Co-Principal Investigator

Rita is Professor of Public Health at the Institute of Community and Public Health (ICPH). 


Tiziana Leone | LSE Co-Principal Investigator

Tiziana is Lecturer in demography in the Department of Social Policy at LSE.


David Lewis | LSE Co-Principal Investigator

David is Professor of Social Policy and Development at LSE. He is also Head of the Department of Social Policy.