Monday column: Why do Omani women live longer than men?

Opinion Monday 11/December/2023 10:38 AM
By: Saleh Al-Shaibany
Monday column: Why do Omani women live longer than men?

Official statistics show that Omani women live an average eight years longer than men and this life expectancy has been widening in the last decade.

I don’t think it would come as a surprise to many Omanis who are not familiar with the statistics. While men already have an answer for their women’s longevity, women only hold a hand on their mouths to hide a mischievous smile.

Omani men would say that it is all about life’s challenges, traditions and customs of the land as the reason that the women in their lives outlive them. Are they right? Let us look at it this way. Men would argue that they have bigger responsibilities which we do not have to spell each one of them here. If men quickly comes to their own defense, then what women have to say about it?

Saleh Al-Shaibany

The typical start is the rolling of their eyes pretending that is not true. After a convincing argument, they would say men take life much more seriously. The men I talked to said that they have no other choice but to take the responsibilities of their families seriously. This is where women lose their cool when men say the seriousness of their families is their sole responsibility.

The women I talked to came to their defense citing a variety of reasons why men have a shorter life span. Men, the ladies say, do not talk freely about their problems while women share everything with each other when they meet. That is not surprising but when they added that women have much more faith in God than men, it made me stop and think.

After analyzing the God’s devotion part, my first impression, as a man, was to retaliate on a negative way, but decided to stop. Maybe the ladies are right. When it comes to faith, men tend to fall behind women. However, I had to take a second opinion instead of refuting the obvious on what is really going on in the households.

The medical statistics available in the Ministry of Health suggest otherwise. The records in our hospitals show the biggest killers of men are substances abuse, alcohol and smoking. Although, the records also show, the rate of stress in men is also much higher in men than in women. After analyzing all the available data, I decided to talk to a few leading psychologists in the country.

They all agree on one thing and that is the ‘stress’ of not talking about their problems much often as women do. They choose the wrong routes of escape to forget their problems rather than confronting them. The psychologists also say women tend to laugh more even if they are confronted with a threat. But what help them most, is their big circles where they share things together.

So why ladies talk more about their problems than men? Because they don’t always looking for solution. Only for someone to listen. They just want to be heard. They feel better once it is out of their system. So why men just don’t do exactly the same thing? The answer is simple. Pride. Most men think that talking about their problems will demote their positions as family leaders.

But we all know that the real strength in any family are the ladies in our homes.