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

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Meeshan Singhal, a 23 year-old 3rd year medical student at Rural medical college from Maharashtra, 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.


    Closing the gender gaps and empowering women, a topic addressed a lot but never satisfactorily acted upon. Legal, social, ethical principles of freedom or entitlement, fundamental rules according to some legal system, social convention or ethical theory describes a ‘right’.[1] These are considered fundamental pillars of society and culture [2] and the history of social conflicts can be found in the history of each right and its development. Theoretically, each human should enjoy these privileges equally but a gender gap prevails in our society, majorly faced by women in terms of social, political, intellectual, cultural or economic attainments or attitudes since the dawn of civilisation. According to Global Gender Gap report by World Economic Forum (December 2018), it will take 108 years to close gender gap and 202 years to achieve economic gender parity.[3] People from Raja Ram Mohan Roy to Malala Yousafzai have been fighting for the rights of women.

    Students are considered the building blocks of society. So, if we treat this cause at our level, a definite change will be seen later. Medical aid is approached by mass population and is easily accessible to the common people. We, the medical students, can try numerous things to tell people about this existing gender parity which needs to be overcome for a powerful world.

    Plays can be performed by us at village level where participation of the local females can also be encouraged. These females can later be awarded to inspire them for their future participation. Also, organisation of fair can be done where women should be motivated to put their own stalls, boosting their confidence. Females, especially of reproductive age, can be provided with free check-up camps at all levels. By the help of local administration, a platform or an annual talk show can be provided to women where they can tell people about their struggle and story. Eminent personalities can be invited to the show for sowing the seed of interest and encouragement. Newspaper, pamphlets, hoardings can be used to promote the rights of women. Students can volunteer in organisations such as SEWA, WEDO, IFMSA, AMSA for spreading awareness about topics like violence, equality, discrimination, etc faced by women.

    Studies have shown that the promise of Fourth Industrial Revolution for all, growth of economy and the 5th UN Sustainable Development Goal cannot be achieved without women empowerment and gender equality.[4]

    Think of a society with no rules and rights, nothing less than animals, right? A human is called civilised when one follows a set of rules. So why not share equal rights with women? Why not make them as powerful as we assume they are? Let’s not forget that the first teacher a child has is a mother and to raise a prosperous and harmonious society, her rights should be preserved.

References

  1.  Stanford University. July 9, 2007. Retrieved 2009-12-21. Rights dominate most modern understandings of what actions are proper and which institutions are just. Rights structure the forms of our governments, the contents of our laws, and the shape of morality as we perceive it. To accept a set of rights is to approve a distribution of freedom and authority, and so to endorse a certain view of what may, must, and must not be done.
  2. UN UDHR Preamble: “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world…”
  3. Copyright 2020 University World News (15 march 2019) The gender gap will take 108 years to close, says WEF, Available at: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20190315083305277
  4. © 2020 United Nations Development Programme () Goal 5: Gender equality, Available at: https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals/goal-5-gender-equality.html

About the author

Meeshan Singhal is 23 years old 3rd year medical student at Rural medical college from Maharashtra, India. He is a member of Medical Students Association India (MSAI) which is a part of IFMSA.

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