The role of medical students in closing the gaps in accelerating women’s rights

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Bhanavath Bhanu, a 2nd year medical student from Bhaskar Medical College from India. She 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 medical profession is dedicated to protect and improve the health of all persons, irrespective of their gender, cultural or social background. However, in this very profession the augmentation of gender stereotypes, inequality and gender-based discrimination persist from the time of enrolment in medical school and from the classroom to placements in clinics and hospitals. Gender disparity is also seen in salary and promotion to top positions. It has affected all aspects of medical student’s life until the end of one’s professional career.

Consequently, it has an impact on career choices, attrition and mental health. Though women have progressed in every aspect of their work still they find many difficulties in advancing themselves and they are overshadowed just because of their gender. Female representation in medical field accounts for low percentage with respect to the senior leadership roles, management and administration of hospital in a male-dominated working environment.

Female and male physicians practice medicine differently. Female physicians have shown to engage in better communication skills, show empathy, compassion and allocate more time to preventative care. They have the potential of better leadership qualities. In recent years gradual acceptance of women in male-dominated specialties has increased, but a commitment to improving gender equity in the medical community within leadership positions and in the academic world is still being discussed.

The presence of women in the practice of medicine extends back to ancient times. In India, female physicians namely  Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi, TS Kanaka, Kadambini Ganguly, Ajita Chakraborty,  Rupabai furdoonji, Muthulakshmi Reddy were some of the women doctors who left their mark in various field of medicine.

They broke all the stereotypes and emerged successful in medical field in their era. Their dreams of becoming doctor were not an easy task because in their generation men were considered superior and were given better education.Despite of many obstacles in their path, their determination, hardwork and willpower made them to achieve their goal in becoming a good doctor. They have become role models and inspired many young doctors in recent decades.

There is a vast difference in the status of women in the medical field in India as compared to the West. However, much progress has been made in the past two decades at least in the urban areas. There is a tremendous disparity in the rural and urban areas when it comes to the number of women who enter this field. The urban areas are almost on par with the western standards at present. Despite having so many women who are leaders in the field, the situation in rural India remains desolate

To promote gender equality and to bridge the gap, supportive female networks among students and practitioners should be created. Gender sensitive language and favourable working conditions should also be encouraged to eradicate sexism from workplace. Harassment to female health-care workers should be banned.

They should be given equal pay scale and better opportunities along with their male colleagues because we believe them to be just as capable and deserving. The concepts of women and men have identical skills and complement one another in their workplace have to be reinforced in their workplace for better community health care.

About the author

Ms. Bhanavath Bhanu, a 2nd year medical student from Bhaskar Medical College from India.

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

Uganda’s Ebola preparedness ‘will go a long way’ says WHO chief

Are we letting politicians play with migrants’ health?

Parliament calls on member states to fully exploit the European Youth Guarantee

India and the US: 5 ways the countries compare

An enlightened response to COVID-19 can avert the climate emergency

Should trade continue to be global after the pandemic?

A Sting Exclusive, the European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger writes for the Sting on “EU Industry: a major energizer”

5G will redefine entire business models. Here’s how

It’s just electronic cigarette, don’t worry?

Why a multi-stakeholder approach is essential to our risk resiliency

Aung San Suu Kyi appears at ICJ as UN rights expert urges greater protection for Myanmar activists

Have central banks missed the exit train?

Commuters in these cities spend more than 8 days a year stuck in traffic

What business leaders can learn from jazz

Afghan refugees: €21 million in humanitarian aid for host communities and vulnerable populations in Pakistan and Iran

Parliament to ask for the suspension of EU-US deal on bank data

EU-Turkey leaders’ meeting, 9 March 2020

Three out of the past five Julys were the hottest on record

European Commission and World Bank Group renew agreement to strengthen development cooperation

Everybody against Japan over yen’s devaluation

How cultural understanding can help in the cultural shock

Why global collaboration is needed to protect against a new generation of cyber threats

The digital revolution will transform the steel industry

Climate change and health: public health awareness in an international framework

Pedal power makes ‘positive impact on climate’, urges UN on World Bicycle Day

Questions & Answers on vaccine negotiations

Cyprus banks under scrutiny

A sterilised EMU may lead to a break up of Eurozone

Traditional finance is failing millennials. Here’s how investing needs to change

Worldwide consumer confidence has shot up to its highest level for four years according to a survey of 130 Global Retail leaders

‘We all must step up’ collective action on disability inclusion – UN deputy chief

3 unexpected consequences of the US-China trade war

Migration has set EU’s political clock ticking; the stagnating economy cannot help it and Turkey doesn’t cooperate

Rights defenders jailed in Bahrain and UAE should be released unconditionally, UN urges

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ford trumpets new in-vehicle system, “fundamentally rethinks” transportation

10 expert predictions for the next decade in Chinese AI

Summer JADE Meeting 2015: We came curious, we left inspired

These German businesses are hiring refugees to plug the skills gap

New Zealand can improve well-being through better policymaking and reforms to housing and migration policy

5 droughts that changed human history

Coronavirus makes inequality a public health issue

UN chief outlines solutions to defeat ‘four horsemen’ threatening our global future

Green deal for Europe: First reactions from MEPs

The remote doctor, can it ever work?

Coronavirus: Commission launches call for innovative response and recovery partnerships between EU regions

Syria: Civilians bear brunt of unilateral sanctions, exacerbating ‘unparalleled suffering, destruction,’ says UN expert

Summertime Consultation: 84% want Europe to stop changing the clock

European Semester Autumn Package: Creating an economy that works for people and the planet

Can ocean health lead to wealth? Our latest House on Fire podcast tackles blue finance

Building an Inclusive ICT Innovation Ecosystem

For resilient, sustainable city mobility after COVID-19, these trends must continue

12 ideas on how the private sector can help ensure universal healthcare access by 2030

UN chief condemns killing of ‘blue helmets’ in DR Congo, as violence erupts prior to elections

Brexit casts a shadow over the LSE – Deutsche Börse merger: a tracer of how or if brexit is to be implemented

‘Spectre of poverty’ hangs over tribes and indigenous groups: UN labour agency

COVID-19 and nature are linked. So should be the recovery.

How impact finance can alleviate COVID-19’s economic symptoms

Samsung’s profits fall as cheaper smartphones gain market share

Thousands risk lives fleeing fighting in Syria’s last ISIL stronghold

Youth unemployment: No light at the end of the tunnel

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