Gender equality: an issue much talked about but less acted upon

Gender Equality 2018 UN Women

(UN Women, 2017)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Ana Imtiaz, a self-motivated, goal oriented first year medical student in MBBS degree program at Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan. Ms Imtiaz 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.

Gender equality is an issue much talked about, but less acted upon. Medicine, a profession regarded as one of the noblest one, is packed with sexism. In a recent study, volunteers were asked to recommend a jail sentence for a hospital administrator who unethically filed a false Medicare claim.

If the administrator was named Jack, the jail sentence was 80 days, but if the name was Jane, the sentence was 130 days.[1] Surprisingly enough, statistics show that women are less likely to be subject to disciplinary hearings.[2]

Research shows that women are also less paid in medicine.[3] Some women simply don’t negotiate, which is due to the pressure placed on self-advocating women. Women who stand up for themselves face much more social cut off than women who don’t. On the other hand, women who don’t confer are perceived as unguarded. In 2004, a scandal broke in the UK. A president of a well-known college in London hinted that feminization of medicine has led to weakening of this field.[4]

Recently, one of my colleagues was asked a question related to fertility, unfortunately she couldn’t answer. “You are a female, you should know this” was the comment she was met with. In another incident, during my initial days at med school, a friend was asked about her high school. Now she had the privilege of studying at one of the most reputable and renowned institutes of the country. The professor went on to say that girls do not belong in such institutions. The student could not protest. As is what happens in many of these situations.

For the past few years in Pakistan, many female graduates have had to squander their years and years of tough grind in med school simply because once they get married, their husbands don’t allow them to work outside of home. The situation still prevails, but to a lesser extent. This issue has been highlighted by our mainstream media many a time. Since girls dominate boys in med school, majority believes that they should implement a quota system, where half the seats are occupied by boys and same for girls.

But people are oblivious to the substantial problem, or they simply choose to be ignorant. Why CAN’T we let women work if they are qualified? The presence of women becomes crucial in medicine in countries like Pakistan, where men are hesitant about women of their family consulting a male doctor. Similarly, a lot of people in our villages don’t have even the slightest idea about sex-ed. Unsurprisingly, the population of our country is escalating tremendously. In such backward areas, women need to guide other women about the significance of sex education.

There is a dire need of combating all these issues in the world of medicine. The first step needed to be taken is that of acceptance. Once the world starts welcoming women in this field, starts behaving with them the same way as it behaves with men, addresses the issues such as gender pay gap, not only will there be harmony but the advancement in medicine could be exceptional.

References

[1] http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/bipolar-disorder/gender-inequality-medicine-too-much-evidence-ignore

[2] http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/health/is-medicine-feminized-but-sexist-1.1122390

[3] http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/26/pf/gender-pay-gap-doctors/index.html

[4] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1468464/Women-weakening-medical-profession.html

About the author

Ms Ana Imtiaz is a self-motivated, goal oriented first year medical student in MBBS degree program at Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan. She is interested in writing content and making art and currently is working with Publication support division team of IFMSA Pakistan. Ana has participated in a number of local art competitions including Aitchison art and performing art fest.

the sting Milestone

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

Central Africa: Security Council concerned by ‘grave security situation’, calls for better agency cooperation

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “You just don’t know if the oil price will be 20$ or 100$ in the next 2-3 years!” top Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff underscores from Davos

What Ghana can teach us about integrating refugees

More women and girls needed in the sciences to solve world’s biggest challenges

Parliament’s proposal to reinforce flagship programmes is worth 39 billion euros

More accessible products and services for disabled and elderly people

Claude Akpokavie, Senior ILO Adviser:“Engaging in policy debates and organizing workers, are two key challenges faced by unions in Export processing zones”

COP25 climate talks: What just happened, and what lies ahead?

Time to pay up: UN summit to push for development finance breakthrough

Peatlands are under threat. Here’s why we must act now to save them

MEPs approve deal on tap water and demand that EU water legislation be respected

Coronavirus Global Response: EU Humanitarian Air Bridge supports Venezuela

Electronic cigarettes, a better alternative or a well-advertised product

Digitalization is changing banking – These 3 trends will help shape its future

Social, cultural diversity ‘an enormous richness, not a threat’ Guterres declares calling on investment for a harmonious future

At global health forum, UN officials call for strong, people-focused health systems

Secure 5G networks: Commission endorses EU toolbox and sets out next steps

Scotland in United Kingdom: It’s either the end or the beginning of the end

We need better alignment between climate and trade. Here’s a roadmap

Germany rules the banking industry of Eurozone

Rehn very reserved about growth in Eurozone

Taxation: Commission refers Portugal to the Court for discriminatory legislation on car registration tax

The Ukrainian crisis to destabilize Europe and the world for a long time

Brexit update: Tusk’s proposal is out and Cameron takes it all

In Libya, Guterres ‘deeply concerned’ by risk of fresh military confrontation, urges restraint

Gender inequality in the medicine field: two commonly issues

‘Deteriorating’ human rights in Belarus amounts to ‘wholescale oppression’: UN expert

Humanitarian aid: EU mobilises over €18 million for the Central African Republic in 2019

Stricter rules and tougher sanctions for market manipulation and financial fraud

‘Antagonistic gestures and accusations’ drown out Kosovo dialogue hopes, Security Council hears

New seat projections for the next European Parliament EU28

EU to set up new European Partnerships and invest nearly €10 billion for the green and digital transition

New US President: MEPs hope for a new dawn in transatlantic ties

Reject passivity and embrace ‘responsibility for our future,’ Lithuania’s President tells UN Assembly

Tax revenues continue increasing as the tax mix shifts further towards corporate and consumption taxes

JADE Spring Meeting 2017 – day 3: JADE Academy trainings, networking session and gala dinner – Excellence Awards winners revealed

Commission report: EU data protection rules empower citizens and are fit for the digital age

UN chief appeals for calm as Mali presidential election draws to a close

EU humanitarian budget for 2020 to help people in over 80 countries

How we can embrace the electrical vehicle transition by adopting smart charging

EU Budget 2019 to focus on young people

“Access denied”: the Greek health system under pressure

No agreement in sight on EU budget

‘Address root causes’ of instability in Mali through ‘aid and support’ urges UN chief

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace Prize

Eurozone and Britain heading in different directions

Trump aims trade offensive solely to China, renews truce with EU

Portuguese Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

Unemployment and exclusion brings EU cities to boiling point

Brain Drain remains a crucial and unresolved issue

Climate change and health – can medical students be the solution?

Ηealth’s foundation is falling apart: what can we do about it?

Ebola Outbreak in Democratic Republic Congo is ‘largely contained’: WHO

Facebook changes its terms and clarify its use of data for consumers following discussions with the European Commission and consumer authorities

This fascinating map shows how food moves around the US

The new EU “fiscal compact” an intimidation for all people

State aid: Commission approves €840 million German guarantee scheme to protect consumers and support the travel industry in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

How migrants who send money home have become a global economic force

Hackers can use public USB chargers to steal personal data. Here’s what you need to know about ‘juice jacking’

Threats from mammoth banks and Brussels fuel May’s poll rates

More Stings?

Advertising

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