Gender is one of the important social determinants of health known to be highly associated with health status. Despite the importance of gender awareness, it has not been addressed and researched in the Arab region, including Palestine. This study aimed to contextualize an Arabic version of the Nijmegen Gender Awareness in Medicine Scale (N-GAMS) and to assess the level of gender awareness and its associated factors among primary health care providers.
The N-GAMS tool was translated and adapted through a gender expert consultation and a focus group discussion. Then, it was administered online to a sample of primary health care general physicians and nurses of all health care providing actors in Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate. The reliability of the N-GAMS subscales using Cronbach’s alpha (α) was 0.681 for the gender sensitivity (GS) scale (9 items), 0.658 for the gender role ideology towards co-workers (GRIC) scale (6 items), and α = 0.848 for the gender role ideology towards patients (GRIP) scale (11 items).
The results showed that participants had scored near the midpoint of the gender sensitivity subscale (M = 2.84, SD = 0.486). They also expressed moderate gender stereotypes towards patients (M = 3.11, SD = 0.624), where females held lower stereotypical thinking. Participants also expressed low to moderate stereotypes towards co-workers (M = 2.72, SD = 0.660) and females expressed less stereotypical thinking compared to males. Furthermore, the participant’s age had some effect on the outcome, specifically on the GRIP subscale, while gender was associated with both GRIP and GRID subscales. The rest of the social and other variables showed no association with the gender awareness subscales. This study adds to our understanding of gender awareness. Further tests are required to confirm the psychometric qualities of the instrument.