Writing a new story in gender inequalities: women gaining space and respect in medicine

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Danielle Correia Furtado and Fernanda Clara da Silva, two second year medical students at Universidade do Estado do Rio Grande do Norte (UERN) in Mossoró, Brazil. They are 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 writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The feminization of medicine has been pointed out by several researches as one of the changes with the greatest impact on the medical profession. However, this scenario was already very different from the current one. Until the 1960s, medicine was mainly exercised by men, it was only after the 1970s that medical schools became a space of greater circulation for women, gradually increasing over the 1980s and 1990s and more rapidly in the first decade of the 21st century.

Although in the past decade they have represented the majority of students in medical schools and the majority of new registered professionals, women continue to suffer a significant negative impact from sexist stereotypes and gender discrimination. Access and permanence are no longer categories of gender discrimination in the medical course, but there is still a great fragility of the achievements and the persistence of inequalities.

Although women have gained an important place in medicine, this has not eliminated gender inequality. There are still hidden segregations that permeate educational institutions; and also the permanence of a set of social determinations that give greater weight and value to men’s work than women’s work. Medical women report a significant negative impact caused by sexist stereotypes and gender discrimination during their formative years.

Subtle forms of discrimination are deeply rooted in medical culture and make men and women not on an equal footing. Gender discrimination presents itself through direct and indirect barriers. One of these inequalities was shown in the Global Report on Gender Inequality, released by the World Economic Forum in late 2015, which points out the gender pay gap. As in the case of Brazil, in which to perform the same job, with the same functions and qualifications, women earn 41% less.

Such results signal the importance of recognizing that experiences and subjectivities are subject to change and of integrating the problematization of dominant discourses into formal curricula, facilitating greater equality of gender, ethnicity and social class. In such a way, it is necessary that gender inequality be debated still in medical universities to try to alleviate the problem from its base: academic training.

For there to be a breakdown of prejudice, inequality and the inferiorization of women, it is necessary to have a subject that addresses the “History of Medicine”, in which it is debated about the first medical schools, the historical landmark in which the woman passed to be accepted in that environment. In addition, it is important that statistical data are also jobs, such as the small number of women in surgery and in leadership positions and the wage gap, for example. It is important to understand if patriarchy and sexism are part of sociocultural factors that bar women’s rights from being characters in their own medical history.

References:

ÁVILA, R.C. Formação das mulheres nas escolas de medicina. Revista Brasileira de Educação Médica, v.38, n.1, p.142-149, jan/mar. 2014. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1590/S0100-55022014000100019. Access on 21 Sep. 2020.

SANTOS, D.T.R. Simone de Beauvoir e Judith Butler: aproximações e distanciamentos e os critérios da ação política. 2015. 102 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Filosofia) – Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Guarulhos (SP). Available from: http://repositorio.unifesp.br/handle/11600/49071. Access on 21 Sep. 2020.

ASSIS, P.; KREUGER, M.S.; OROFINO, M.R. Análise dos fatores que levam mulheres médicas a não optarem por especialidades cirúrgicas. Revista de Medicina, São Paulo, v. 99, n. 3, p. 230-235, 2020. ISSN: 1679-9836. DOI: https://doi.org/10.11606/issn.1679-9836.v99i3p230-235. Available from: https://www.revistas.usp.br/revistadc/article/view/150416. Access on 22 Sep. 2020.

About the authors

Danielle Correia Furtado and Fernanda Clara da Silva are both second year medical students at Universidade do Estado do Rio Grande do Norte (UERN) in Mossoró, Brazil. They are member of Local Board of the International Federation of Medical Student’s Associations (IFMSA). Both believe in a world in which education is capable of changing the world, especially inequalities.

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

Legendary Harlem Globetrotters slam-dunk at the UN, with message that brings families, nations together

‘Severe’ new US asylum restrictions will put vulnerable families at risk, UN refugee agency says

Sexual education in a school at the Brazilian Amazon

COP21 Breaking News: “There is an ecological debt that the world needs to pay back to Africa”, French President Francois Hollande promises 2 Billion euros by 2020 from Paris

3 reasons why data is not the new oil – and why this matters to India

Mexico needs a new strategy to boost growth, fight poverty and improve well-being for all

Bangladesh: Head of UN refugee agency calls on Asia-Pacific leaders to show ‘solidarity’ with Rohingya refugees

Clean Mobility: Commission tables proposal on car emissions testing in real driving conditions

The end of Spitzenkandidat: EU leaders concluded unexpectedly on EU top jobs

Statement by Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager on State aid measures to address the economic impact of COVID-19

Impact investment favours expats over African entrepreneurs. Here’s how to fix that

Reconciliation helps ‘repair fractures’, enable lasting peace, Security Council hears

How the tech sector can power the shift to a sustainable economy

It’s time to end the stigma around mental health in the workplace

‘Humiliation was the worst’; Holocaust survivor at UN, asks world to act with ‘empathy and compassion’

UN chief appeals to G7 leaders for ‘strong commitment’ and political will to tackle climate emergency

Why strive for Industry 4.0

The gender gap of medicine in 2018

How a new approach to meat can help end hunger

What next for Europe? Three (completely) different Davos views

Young health workforce – a core of effective primary healthcare?

‘€1 million’ fines for rescue boats prompts UN concern for future sea operations

The COVID-19 vaccine’s challenges

European financial values on the rise

UN programme to help spare millions from child marriage, extended to 2023

3 ways to improve diversity and inclusion in your organization

Two major EU projects falter; the Schengen Agreement now freezes and Eurozone fails to resolve the Greek enigma

‘Abhorrent’ ambulance attack in Libyan capital imperils life-saving work, warns UN

Coronavirus: Eight macro-financial assistance programmes agreed to support enlargement and neighbourhood partners

Air pollution: How to end the deaths of 7 million people per year?

India is now the world’s 5th largest economy

Parliament declares the European Union an ‘‘LGBTIQ Freedom Zone’’

Algeria must stop arbitrary expulsion of West African migrants in desert: UN migration rights expert

Cameron postpones speech in Holland

China-EU Summit on 16-17 July 2018: “Work together to address common challenges”, by China’s Ambassador to the EU

Respect for fundamental rights and freedoms key for peaceful polls in DRC – UN mission chief

Brexit effect: Public opinion survey shows that EU is more appreciated than ever

Afghanistan probe: ‘at least 60 civilians’ killed after US military airstrikes on alleged drug labs

Amid global ‘learning crisis’, Parliaments can ensure adequate resources for education, says UN Assembly President

Long-term EU budget: MEPs slam cuts to culture and education

‘End the ongoing atrocities’ against people with albinism in Malawi, say UN rights experts

This Netherlands football stadium creates its own energy and stores it in electric car batteries

The US will impose tariffs on Mexico, says President Trump

Challenges facing the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns

Commission opens infringement procedures against 24 Member States for not transposing new EU telecom rules

3 reasons we should all care about biodiversity

Air pollution: How to end the deaths of 7 million people per year

UN human rights ruling could boost climate change asylum claims

Australia urged to evacuate offshore detainees amid widespread, acute mental distress

Coronavirus spread now a global emergency declares World Health Organization

China Unlimited – The chinese tourism in Lisbon

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace Prize

UN experts decry torture of Rakhine men and boys held incommunicado by Myanmar’s military

‘Champion for multilateralism’ readies to hand over UN General Assembly gavel

UN recognises role of sport in achieving sustainable development

Commission presents review of EU economic governance and launches debate on its future

Inclusion, empowerment and equality, must be ‘at the heart of our efforts’ to ensure sustainable development, says UN chief

EU Security Union Strategy: connecting the dots in a new security ecosystem

Pharmaceuticals conceal drug side effects with the EU’s Court blessing

The EU moulds a new compromise for growth and financial sustainability

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