Girls still being treated as aliens in medicine in the 21st century

UN Gender Equality

Marching in New York City for gender equality. Photo: UN Women/J Carrier (UN, 2015)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Unsa Athar, a final year M.B, B.S. student at King Edward Medical University, Lahore, Pakistan. Ms Athar is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). The opinion 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.

Not all of us can prevent a war; but most of us can help ease sufferings—of the body and the soul.

— Ruth Pfau

From Marie Curie to Ruth Pau, history is filled with stories of women who dedicated their lives for science and the betterment of the humanity. The story of Florence Nightingale was taught to us in school. The saddening death of Ruth Pau spread awareness about who she was, many people did not know about her before.

The examples of women sacrificing their lives for the sake of humanity are always considered odd in a 3rd world country. The literacy rate in Pakistan is 74 percent in the urban areas, in which males are 81 percent with females being on 68 percent.

These numbers show that gender equality is a concept still not understood and accepted by people in developing countries. Yes, the conditions have improved as compared to the past, but it is still a long way to go.

As medical students, when we are sitting on the benches of a lecture theatre, our professors always narrate the story of the times when there were only a bunch of girls sitting in the front line only. And now girls occupy more than 60 percent of the seats in a lecture theatre of any well-known medical school.

This increased numbers of girls in the medicine profession is hated in our country. Many reasons are given for that, the most frequently used one being “Girls do no work after graduation. They end up getting married. They WASTE the seat of a medical college which could have been used by a guy.” This is a fact, girls in Pakistan do end up not practicing medicine but that does not deny them the right to get educated. And if we dissect the situation, we can see who is at fault in their not practicing after graduation.

The pressure from the in-laws, the absence of support from the husband, the need to proudly showing off a doctor daughter in law but not letting her work, harassment at the work place; all these factors force a woman to give up her dream of becoming the leading physician in the field she loved. Here, as a girl, if you want to peruse what you love you have to break the norms and rules of the society.

Why have we made it so difficult for girls to be accepted as doctors who can compete side by side with men, despite all the social pressures? Why do we blame the girls for ‘wasting’ seats in the medical colleges? Why do we  not make working environment and conditions more favourable for girls? Why cannot we as family members be more supportive towards women who spend their whole lives managing their own kids and the ailing humanity at the same time?

Why are there less women around like Ruth Pau? When will we give our girls the opportunity to exhibit their full potentials? Why do we cut their wings and then put the blame on them for not flying? When will we practice and advocate gender equality in medicine?

About the author

Ms Unsa Athar is a final year M.B; B.S. student at King Edward Medical University, Lahore, Pakistan. She is an active participant of many co-curricular and extracurricular activities in campus and often write for US Magazine, The News International. She wrote this small piece to raise her voice against gender biasness in Pakistan. As a medical student, girls often have to face the dilemma of choosing between a career and family, which is heart breaking. “We need to encourage our girls to work. We need to tell them that their contribution to the society as doctors is just as important as any guy.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

EU crisis aggravates structural differences, threatens cohesion

Who is to lose from the 6-month extension of the EU economic sanctions against Russia?

Gender equality and medicine in the 21st century

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change and youth inaction: oblivion or nonchalance?”, AIESEC wonders from Brussels

Social Committee teaches Van Rompuy a lesson

The Peoples are missing from EU’s monetary union

New VAT rules in the EU: how a digital sea could have become an ocean

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ingenu steps up efforts to build LPWA networks across the globe

GSMA announces first speakers for Mobile 360 Series-Middle East and North Africa

Presentation of Juncker’s Investment Plan: Can 315 billion euros save the EU?

Eurozone: Economic sentiment-business climate to collapse without support from exports

The MH17 tragedy to put a tombstone on Ukrainian civil war

Is Eurozone heading towards a long stagnation?

Turkey presents a new strategy for EU accession but foreign policy could be the lucky card

Memoirs from a unique trip to China: “my new old dragon” (Part I)

“Beyond the beach: tackling plastic pollution upstream”, a Sting Exclusive by Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment

Youth Forum welcomes positive ruling on non-EU student visas

Will Europe be a different place this Monday?

EU to negotiate an FTA with Japan

Why is the World Health Organisation so much needed?

ITU Telecom World 2017: exploring smart digital transformation

Five-year low inflation for Eurozone and now Mario has to finally wake up the Germans

EU plans pan-European network of cybersecurity services

“Sorry mom it’s not our day”: the true refugee story of a young doctor and his family forced to flee their home

When is Berlin telling the truth about the EU banking union?

European Youth, quo vadis?

EU: Huge surplus in the trade of services with the rest of the world

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Ban Ki-Moon Closing Address at COP21 Action Day Innovation, Imagination, Faster Climate Action

EU Parliament approves CETA: the EU-Canada free trade deal sees the light in Trump’s gloomy era

Eurozone: Austerity brings new political tremors

JADE @ European Business Summit 2014: Youth Unemployment – a drive to Entrepreneurship

Ministers for Youth miss the opportunity to improve social inclusion of young people

MasterCard at European Business Summit 2015: A focus on innovation will drive inclusive economic growth for Europe

Presidents of pan-European youth organisations call upon the European Council to preserve the Schengen principles

Economic recovery won’t tackle youth unemployment problem

European Business Summit 2014: The role of youth entrepreneurship education in EU’s Strategy for Competitiveness

Why is Merkel’s Germany so liberal with the refugees? Did the last elections change that?

Bankruptcy or referendum: which one is going to be first?

Greek citizens to pay the price again but Tsipras risks losing next elections

The Eurogroup protects Germany and blames others

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

Bureaucracy in the member states again the obstacle for long due strong European Hedge Funds

Bitpay @ TheNextWeb 2014: Innovation’s Best Friend

EU finally agrees on target for 40% greenhouse emission cuts ahead of Paris climate talks

Creating shared value: an opportunity and challenge for entrepreneurship

ECB money bonanza not enough to revive euro area, Germany longs to rule with stagnation

Migration crisis will keep deteriorating as common EU political will is simply not there

Will the three major parties retain control of the new EU Parliament?

A new world that demands new doctors in the fourth industrial revolution

Climate change and health: Raising awareness is the key for greener actions

Italian banks: It’s Rome’s turn to confront Berlin’s aggressiveness

How Germany strives to mold ECB’s monetary policy to her interests

Right2Water initiative: Is the Commission ready to listen to citizens?

Twenty days that may remold the future of Europe

In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities

The Europe we want: Just, Sustainable, Democratic and Inclusive

Catalan Pro-Independence vote: how many hits can Brussels sustain at the same time?

Responsible Artificial Intelligence

‘Free state aid’ for imprudent banks

US, Russia oblige each other in Syria and Ukraine selling off allies

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s