Baking The Galette-des-rois Of Egalitarianism

(Richard Catabay, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Aman Nandanwar is a first year medical student in Govt. Medical College, Chhindwara, MP and a member of Medical Students Association Of India (MSAI). 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 Galette-des-rois, celebrating Epiphany, the day the Three Kings (les rois) visited Infant Jesus, is baked throughout January in France.

According to the Fable, The les trois Rois brought gifts for the Divine Child the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh whose 21st century equivalents are Education, Equal Rights and Ending Social Disparity. These Precious Gifts will have to be assembled together to complete The Celestial Cake Of Equity.

In this battling World there has been a role assigned to the medical students to help achieve the world its deprived element i.e. Gender Equality.

The World Economic Forum predicts it will take 257 years to achieve the feat of closing the Economy Gender Gap if we continue this pace and 99.5 years if we accelerate the progress. (1)

The First Gift, the Gold representing Education has to be delivered to everyone equally without any barriers. It is the Education only that will make the women realise the importance of their rights and liberties.

The females should be encouraged for research programmes and funds should be allocated for their use.

As Health Care providers we have to talk to the patients, educate them, create awareness about the problems with gender gap.

From the very Beginning we have seen the women have been given a mere status signifying they are considered inferior to males in everything. Gender Inequality is a huge obstacle when specializing in a particular branch of medicine. In many specialities males outnumber females. Only a few specialities have an equal proportion. Many research studies conclude this (2) .In the healthcare fraternity there are many restrictions on certain fields and leadership positions.

Women are discouraged to be surgeons, urologists, etc. by their teachers who comprise of the qualified male surgeons and are not preferred by the patients. Also when a female surgeon has a bad outcome their referrals drop by 54⁒ while referral to male surgeon is hardly affected. (3)

We can fix a particular ratio of women in all the places and strive to achieve an Equal Ratio in all the workplaces.

The UN suggests legal-reform, strengthening gender responsive social protection and public service delivery quotas for women’s representation and support for women’s movements. (4)

The Social-Cultural Malpractices still practiced in the Developing and Underdeveloped Countries  such as Female-Foeticide, Female Genital Mutilation, Forced Child Marriage, Dowry, Chaupadi, Nutritional Taboos etc. have to be ended as soon as possible. Now also in the Arab world women are denied access to healthcare without the presence of a male authority or his permission.

The violence the women face at their workplaces while dealing with patients, sexual abuses, have a brutal impact on the Society. To counter gender based violence we can integrate a rights based approach in the health care system and providing quality clinical care to survivors of violence. 

The patients also cause a lot of disheartenment to the female physicians by calling them nurses.

Moreover the biased employers are not willing to promote females who are likely to get pregnant as they would take maternity leave, this makes climbing the corporate ladder a much more difficult task in an already man-first and Highly competitive environment .

The Medical Fraternity can help to accelerate in closing the gender gaps by creating suitable environments that supplement the growth and empowerment of both genders. There has to be a perfect harmony between both the genders to make this world a perfect place to live.

“No Country can truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens”.

-Michelle Obama


About the author

Aman Nandanwar is a first year medical student in Govt. Medical College, Chhindwara, MP and a mmeber of Medical Students Association Of India (MSAI).

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