J Med Ethics 32:351-354 doi:10.1136/jme.2005.013466
  • Public health ethics

Feminism and public health ethics

  1. W A Rogers
  1. Correspondence to:
 Wendy Rogers
 Department of Medical Education, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia;{at}
  • Received 4 July 2005
  • Accepted 16 August 2005
  • Revised 15 August 2005


This paper sketches an account of public health ethics drawing upon established scholarship in feminist ethics. Health inequities are one of the central problems in public health ethics; a feminist approach leads us to examine not only the connections between gender, disadvantage, and health, but also the distribution of power in the processes of public health, from policy making through to programme delivery. The complexity of public health demands investigation using multiple perspectives and an attention to detail that is capable of identifying the health issues that are important to women, and investigating ways to address these issues. Finally, a feminist account of public health ethics embraces rather than avoids the inescapable political dimensions of public health.