Closing the gaps in accelerating women’s rights:the role of medical students

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr.Aazil Naseer, a student of MBBS 2 nd year studying in JSS Medical College, Mysore, Karnataka, India. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. 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 opportunity to write this article comes at a very critical moment as women and girls around the world are facing unprecedented challenges when it comes to them facing aversities in chasing their goals.

Twenty-five years ago, an international plan of action was set out to remove these barriers, but looking at the current scenario we can’t be sure whether the guidelines have been able to achieve their intended purpose in their intended time frame.

Since the current scenario is relatively unfair and unjust, we will have to work consciously and in an unwavering fashion to help achieve equality for all.

People from all spheres of life will have to work in unison to achieve this goal, I cannot speak for all of them, but I can help in laying out the role the medical students will play in achieving this goal.

  • Supporting women to get into medicine

To this day, many girls find it almost impossible to get into the field of medicine, this is either due to pressures from the families or the society in general. Medical students must take it upon themselves to encourage girls to pick medicines

  • Stagnation inside the field of medicine

Currently even within the field of medicine there is massive non uniformity, subjects like gynaecology are heavily saturated, on the other hand highly specialised fields like Cardiothoracic surgery and Neurosurgery hardly have any female candidates. Medical students must take it into their hands to encourage women into getting into these highly specialised fields and at the same time working on the stigma associated with men getting into fields that are usually female dominated.

  • Ending discriminatory laws

There are many laws around the world that heavily discriminate against women and favour male candidates, Medical students must help spread awareness about this either by directly getting involved in law making or helping spread awareness by educating their patients and colleagues.

  • Challenging laws and traditional gender stereotyping

There are many stereotypes in medicine, there are roles that are traditionally considered as “A man’s job” or “a woman’s job”, We need to work consciously to end these stereotypes, as this will free up spaces in traditionally masculine jobs and be a lot more inclusive in the traditionally feminine roles.

There are also laws that can usually be interpreted in a way so as to be discriminatory, all of the students in the medical community have to be aware about the laws and make sure that are laws are interpreted in the best of intentions.

  • Involving more women in hospital management and leadership

By increasing the number of women present in the positions of power we will be able to make much more fairer workplace policies and the female employees will be much more inclined to speak up against unfair practices. This can be achieved by taking up leadership roles in colleges and other areas of student socialisation.

About the author

Aazil Naseer is a student of MBBS 2 nd year studying in JSS Medical College, Mysore, Karnataka, India. He has been working on projects involving neural stimulation and neural data decoding, has been an IFMSA member since 2018, is currently involved in quite a few of the projects carried out by MSAI India where he is LORE and a SWG member, he has experience in writing the COVID19 tabloid released by MSAI which covered the progression of COVID across states and continents, His major areas of interest are Neurology, Economics and Law advocacy.

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