Women Win in the West

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Christopher Maatouk, an American/Lebanese medical student at the Lebanese University. 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 more you go West, the more women tend to dominate the medical field from medical students to doctors to nurses. In 2019, 50.5% of U.S. medical students were women. In the EU, women make up to 75.7% of the healthcare workers.

On the contrast, the more you go East, the less you’re likely to witness any equilibrium between male and female medical doctors. In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, women only make up 35% of physicians, compared to 39% in South East Asia, 41% in the Western Pacific Region. For example, they make up only 20% of physicians in Japan. However, they outnumber men as nurses all around the world.

One could make the argument that the West has, more or less, let go of its past stances on sex and race and traditional societal norms whereas the East has been more attached to a more traditional school of thought. At the end of the day, though, one would ask what the role of medical students is in accelerating women’s rights.

Speak up against demeaning comments. Let’s face it, although no one enjoys being the oddball, it’s even odder to stay silent when hearing a demeaning comment made in the intent to keep societal norms at the expense of having equal opportunity. Being silent only creates an echo chamber where the same demeaning comment is heard over and over again in the minds of children and adults alike. In more Eastern countries, for e.g. in the Middle East, this might ingrain the idea that women should stay at home or not aspire to leading societal and academic roles – therefore, even if the door was open to men and women alike to enter the medical field, women would feel far less enthusiasm and/or courage to take the chance.

Challenge ideas in yourself and in the society you live in. Science is all about questioning what you know, double and triple checking if need be, revisiting your earlier conclusions in the wake of new information and so on and so forth. Listen to what people have to say about women being in medicine and, without any confirmation bias, analyze the rational behind the idea and decrypt its potential consequences and ponder on its merits. Should you find a certain idea flawed, dig into the reason why it came to be, why people still believe that and fact check everything.

It’s easy for a society to simply wish it had equal opportunities and equal rights among all its people. It’s much more efficient for a society to grab the bull by the horns in order to make a change. The more the years pass, the more we right the wrongs of the past. As medical students, we have an unspoken role to treat our colleagues with the same level or respect as our future patients and to close the gaps that keep us away from one another.

About the author

Christopher Maatouk is an American/Lebanese medical student at the Lebanese University, writer and platform developer for the Lebanese national mental health application Stronger Mind. He strives to shatter societal taboos and address the issues we face so as to create a more wholesome environment where everyone has a chance to thrive.

the sting Milestones

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

Training for staff in early childhood education and care must promote practices that foster children’s learning, development and well-being

These countries have the most nuclear reactors

Record numbers of people in the UK have applied to study nursing

The British “nonsense”, the relaxed Commissioner and the TTIP “chiaroscuro” at this week’s Council

‘A trusted voice’ for social justice: Guterres celebrates 100 years of the International Labour Organization

Kids who live in the countryside have better motor skills, a study in Finland has found

“No labels for entrepreneurs!”, a young business leader from Italy cries out

Code of Practice on disinformation: Commission welcomes new prospective signatories and calls for strong and timely revision

No way out for Eurozone’s stagnating economy

South Sudan: UN calls for end to inter-communal clashes, attacks against aid workers

Here’s why human-robot collaboration is the future of manufacturing

JADE Spring Meeting 2017– day 1: Excellence awards, panel discussion, keynote speeches

EC v Samsung: A whole year to compile a case

Can medical students be prepared for Global Health ethical issues?

UN rights chief ‘strongly’ condemns ‘shocking’ mass executions in Saudi Arabia

Countries are piling on record amounts of debt amid COVID-19. Here’s what that means

Young activists do the talking as UN marks World Children’s Day

Some endangered languages manage to thrive. Here’s how

Irish Presidency: Not a euro more for EU budgets

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission decides to register ‘Right to Cure’ initiative

7 ways to break the fast fashion habit – and save the planet

Global warming: our responsibility

COVID-19 has hit Black Americans hardest. Healing this divide would lift the nation

Will COVID-19 usher in a new culture of outdoor living and dining?

From Hangzhou to Rwanda: how Jack Ma brought Chinese e-commerce to Africa

Indonesian tsunami death toll climbs over 400 as Government-led relief efforts are stepped up

The importance of including palliative care in the Universal Health Coverage and how to achieve it

5 Ways Companies Can Progress More Women into Leadership Roles

Health Care Workers’ Safety and Health as Assets in the Fight Against COVID-19

GSMA announces speakers for Mobile 360 Series-West Africa

This is how we make basic income a reality

Revealed: danger and squalor for cleaners who remove human waste by hand

‘Global trust’ declining, ‘our world needs stepped-up global leadership’

UN Envoy ‘confident’ deal can be reached to avert further violence around key Yemeni port city

EU boosts humanitarian aid budget for 2021 as needs rise

The final countdown towards achieving the 2030 Agenda: the contribution of future health(care) professionals

Vaccine nationalism – and how it could affect us all

Investing in health workers yields ‘triple dividend’, WHO chief says in New Year’s message

Palliative care and Universal Health Coverage: how to advocate for the inclusion of palliative care in UHC

Commission (Eurostat) publishes first statistics on short-stay accommodation booked via collaborative economy platforms

Overcoming the paralysis of trust management across a fractured IT landscape

AI can help us unlock the world’s most complex operating system – the human body

Human rights breaches in Eritrea, Nicaragua and Saudi Arabia

Cross-border travel is confusing after COVID – this framework can help borders reopen safely

EU car manufacturers worry about an FTA with Japan

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Cutting emissions, one bog at a time

Artificial Intelligence in policing: safeguards needed against mass surveillance

World Cancer Day: Here’s how perceptions about the disease differ around the world

Italy’s rescue operation Mare Nostrum shuts down with no real replacement. EU’s Triton instead might put lives at risk

Europe bows to Turkey’s rulers, sends Syrian refugees back to chaos

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

Mobile World Congress 2021: Barcelona 08 June-01 July

Darfur peace process at a ‘standstill’ as demonstrations against Sudanese Government continue

Achieving targets on energy helps meet other Global Goals, UN forum told

When Can Everyone Pluck the Grapes?

These vending machines are giving out free short stories to London commuters

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

There’s a single-use plastic you’ll throw away today without realising

Malaria could be gone by the middle of the century. Here’s how

Impact of high-fats food regimen on immune activity, tumor growth.

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 )

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

%d bloggers like this: