This study examined the association between mortality due to injury and poisoning among men and women in Europe and nine indicators of women's empowerment (i.e. women's challenging of existing power structures that subordinate women).
A cross-sectional ecological design was used, with 24 countries from the European Union plus two countries within the European Economic Area and Switzerland.
Most of the nine indicators of women's empowerment were unrelated to men's, as well as women's, death rates from injury and poisoning. However, multiple linear regression models showed that a few indicators of women's empowerment were significantly associated with mortality due to injury and poisoning for both women and men. When three Baltic States with considerably higher mortality rates (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) were excluded from the analysis, however, only one indicator (female economic activity as a percentage of male economic activity) remained a significant predictor of men's death rates.
These data suggest that some indicators of women's empowerment may be associated with mortality due to injury and poisoning for men, although the association was dependent on which countries were included in the analysis. This highlights the importance of examining in greater detail the influence of changing gender roles on the health behaviours of women and men.