Gender equality and medicine in the 21st century: an equity unachieved

Dr Tedros WHO IFMSA

Dr Tedros, the Director General of World Health Organisation (Dr Tedros, 2017)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Maryam Zaheer, 20 years old writer, winner of various prizes in national story writing and poetry competitions. Ms Zaheer is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

The luckiest of the luckiest women who muddle through the stereotypes and manage to get themselves enrolled into a medical college are made to fight another battle for survival in the very competitive medical battlefield.

The leaky pipeline phenomenon clearly explains how the number of women drastically drops from the enrolment strength in medical colleges to the ladies who reach the posts of consultants. The facts have evident proofs.

Marriages and household responsibilities are the prime impediments in the way of women wanting to continue to pursue their careers. An uncooperative spouse and in laws hinder the potential life saver from performing her duty and continuing her job.

The gender based quota system is another obstacle that the females, even brighter than some of their counterpart males, have to overcome. A fixed proportion of males is inducted at both undergraduate and post graduate levels despite at times, having a weaker academic performance than females to fulfil the quota.

Females yearn family support and cooperation when it comes to hard area postings but mostly in vain, so some medical schools mostly prefer male candidates for admission.

Work place harassment and physical abuse force women to give up as it leads to mental disturbance. A safer working environment can ensure better concentration and devotion on the lady doctor’s part.

Women however are not the only ones facing gender bias. Males counter them too along their professional journey.

Female general practitioners have outnumbered males which according to a general opinion is unnecessary since most of these females only work part time because of domestic obligations.

Males have to struggle a lot to make a female patient comfortable enough to talk to them, especially in rural areas. Topics like menstruation and pregnancy are not very comfortably discussed with the male physicians which not only makes it difficult for them to get through undergraduate exams but also to perform satisfactorily in the professional field. Gynaecology and obstetrics are an understood no go area for the males according to the societal norms. However, when given the opportunity, male gynaecologists have made their ineradicable mark in the field. Doctor Rashid Latif from Lahore is a renowned gynaecologist who is trusted more by the local patients than the female professionals.

A wage system based on services per hour should be strictly implemented so as to eliminate any objection from the other party since most male practitioners complain that they work more hours as compared to their female counter parts (considering the maternity and other leaves they get) but get paid equally.

The solution to the problems of both the genders lies in mutual respect and understanding. Also, it should be accepted and acted upon that a doctor, when dealing with a patient, has no sex and is purely a messiah from the lord sent to heal His men.

About the author

I am Maryam Zaheer, 20 years old writer, winner of various prizes in national story writing and poetry competitions. I also work as a professional free lancer and am a member of IFMSA Publication Support Division. I am also the sub editor of my college’s newsletter and have gotten my writings featured on renowned platforms all across the social media. I am an MBBS student and am successfully balancing my literature fanaticism with the polar opposite, medical science.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

From Sweden to India, School climate strikes have gone global

Close to final agreement on the EU Banking Union

Mergers: Commission fines Canon €28 million for partially implementing its acquisition of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation before notification and merger control approval

Environment Committee MEPs push for cleaner trucks and electric buses

Here are six bold ideas to accelerate sustainable energy innovation

Employment MEPs want to ensure more flexibility and clarity for EU mobile workers

July was the hottest month ever – what does that actually mean?

Gender is where the feminist and LGBTI movements meet. Here’s why

Bold measures needed to protect cross-border and seasonal workers in EU, MEPs say

China’s New Normal and Its Relevance to the EU

Where are the charities in the great Artificial Intelligence debate?

European Youth Forum welcomes steps towards raising awareness of youth rights by EU ministers

How a bionic arm is helping one little girl enjoy the things most take for granted

3 leaders on creating a pipeline for female talent in business

‘Nothing left to go back for’: UN News hears extraordinary stories of loss, and survival as Mozambique rebuilds from deadly cyclones

Canada needs to increase foreign aid flows in line with its renewed engagement

Climate change: Another year of record gas emissions, warns UN meteorological agency

JADE Generations Club: Connecting perspectives, changing Europe.

Banks can fight financial crime. But we can’t do it alone

Smoking VS Vaping: is it a battle?

Yes, together we can make a change! YO!Fest and EYE 2016

EU to Telcos: Stop Mergers and Acquisitions but please help me urgently with 5G development

UN receives ‘Humanium’ wristwatch gift, symbolizing peaceful transformation

COVID-19 and natural disasters: €823 million in EU aid for eight member states

The blackened white coat of the doctors

5 Black heroes of the environmental movement

Here are five ways we can make mental healthcare better

Is 2019 the beginning of the end for coal in Europe?

Primary Healthcare vs Specialization Careers, how to promote PHC to the Young Health Workforce?

ECB with an iron hand disciplines the smaller Eurozone member states; latest victim: Greece

The green hydrogen revolution has started, and it won’t be stopped

German banks suffer of nausea amidst rough seas

What is behind the wide reach of  fake news about Coronavirus?

Who will secure Lithuania?

After Rio Grande tragedy, UNICEF chief highlights ‘dire’ detention centres on US-Mexico border

US-China trade war: Washington now wants control of the renminbi-yuan

Portugal wants its emigrants back – so it’s paying them to return

Coronavirus: Commission presents “Staying safe from COVID-19 during winter” strategy

Why Obama asks approval from Congress to bomb Syria?

A quarter of Americans have no retirement savings

How to build an entrepreneurial university

European Commission launches infringement proceedings against the UK following its failure to name a candidate for EU Commissioner

10 ways COVID-19 could reshape offices

Eurozone closer to a deflation – stagnation trap

90% of European Jews say antisemitism is getting worse

The clothes of the future could be made from pineapples and bananas

Security Council gravely concerned by Ebola outbreak in DR Congo, demands immediate end to violence hampering response

Safer products: EP and Council close deal to beef up checks and inspections

“Unequivocal support” for the people of Bulgaria in their legitimate demands

How Cameron unwillingly helped Eurozone reunite; the long-term repercussions of two European Council decisions

European research priorities for 2021-2027 agreed with member states

Western Sahara: a ‘peaceful solution’ to conflict is possible, says UN envoy

Serious concerns over Sahel, require ‘urgent action’: Senior UN Africa official

We don’t know how autonomous vehicles will depreciate – and that’s a problem

Bayer-Monsanto merger: the story of the rise of the “endless company”

UN launches new fund to advance sustainable development in Aral Sea region

More countries are making progress on corruption – but there’s much to be done, says a new report

Strong multilateral institutions key to tackling world’s dramatic challenges, UN chief says In Moscow

The Italian crisis may act as a catalyst for less austerity

State aid: Commission approves Belgian scheme deferring payment by Walloon airports of concession fees to mitigate economic impact of coronavirus outbreak

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s