Female representation is a weapon against patriarchal prejudice

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Ádrya Natálya Chaves Ribeiro da Silva and Letycia Fernandes de Godoy are second year medical students currently studying at the Centro Universitário do Planalto Central Apparecido dos Santos in Brazil. They are affiliated with 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.


Women’s leadership in medicine grows as female representation is more valued by women themselves, considering that the social environment, in which interactions are established, determines symbolic representations and exerts influence on individual behavior. Although there are currently more female faces in the undergraduate and professional fields, they are still seen as questionable professionals, since the positioning of women in a leadership role is devalued and negatively judged. It is a fact that medicine still has a gender gap caused by the prejudice of female insertion in certain positions, however, women are increasingly inspired and worthy of running after their goals without the difference being bigger than their desires of insertion in the field of action. 

In the first analysis, it is noticeable the constant struggle of women to conquer spaces in some specialties and leadership in multidisciplinary teams. Pierre Bourdieu, in his book “Male Domination”, analyzes that areas in which women show great interest suffer a devaluation because they do not attract male professional eyes, being labeled as “feminized” areas. In the medical environment, there is a belief that women are not interested in leadership positions or do not have the skills for it because they believe that there is low productivity linked to hormonal fluctuations, so when they exercise these functions, they are stereotyped as arrogant or overbearing, considering that the patriarchal society was taught to see women in inferior positions to men. 

On the other hand, even though there is still prejudice in the insertion of women in management positions, the gender gap in medicine is getting smaller, as a result of the increase of female representation in these positions. As an example, the admirable Angelita Habr-Gama, one of the most renowned Brazilian surgeons and the first woman to become a member of the American Surgical Association, became the founder and president of the Brazilian Association for the Prevention of Bowel Cancer. Another great example is the pediatrician and founder of the Pastoral da Criança, Zilda Arns, who helped the country to reduce the infant mortality rate, with the elaboration of the “homemade serum”. Thus, together with thousands of other women who have risen in their careers, they inspire students and doctors to want to progress and reach their goals.

With this, it is clear that even during graduation there are still deep-rooted gaps that hinder the professional development of women, with the female underachievement being observed in some areas or compacting for female acceptance in authoritarian positions. Furthermore, the reality of the scenario of female doctors in high positions is changing, due to their efforts to acquire spaces or reinforce those already conquered, proving that they are managing to close this gap, through the inspiration of great female names.

About the authors

Ádrya Natálya Chaves Ribeiro da Silva and Letycia Fernandes de Godoy are second year medical students currently studying at the Centro Universitário do Planalto Central Apparecido dos Santos in Brazil. They are local coordinators of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. They are constantly discussing gender equality issues and updating themselves on women’s empowerment.

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

Top UN rights official urges transparent probe into Khashoggi disappearance

Neither side stands to benefit in US-China trade spat, UN says

Questions and Answers on issues about the digital copyright directive

EP President calls for emergency assistance to migrants stranded on Open Arms boat

Women’s rights face global pushback from conservativism, fundamentalism – UN experts warn

Team Europe: €34 billion disbursed so far to tackle COVID-19 in partner countries

Here’s why China’s trade deal with Mauritius matters

Data marketplaces can transform economies. Here’s how

Eurozone: Even good statistics mean deeper recession

Primary Care: a way to provide Palliative Care in Universal Health Coverage

To solve the climate crisis, we need an investment revolution

Creating shared value: an opportunity and challenge for entrepreneurship

Bulgaria: MEPs call for EU values to be fully and unconditionally respected

JADE President opens JADE Spring Meeting 2014

Being blinded by labels stops social change. Art helps us see a better future

As threats to IoT devices evolve, can security keep up?

Innovation and entrepreneurship can cut waste and deliver the circular economy

EU Budget 2020 conciliation talks suspended

Global immunization is having its annual check-up. What can we learn?

UN cooperation with League of Arab States ‘pivotal’, UN chief tells Security Council

EU Budget 2019 to focus on young people

Three experts on why eradicating plastic pollution will help achieve gender equality

Berlin wants to break South’s politico-economic standing

This is where teachers are most (and least) respected

Understanding the gender gap in the Global South

European Parliament approves new copyright rules for the internet

Chile ups foreign bribery enforcement but flawed case resolutions are insufficient to ensure transparency and accountability

India’s economy is an ‘elephant that is starting to run’, according to the IMF

What will Germany look like after the next election?

Half the world’s population is still offline. Here’s why that matters

As G7 calls time on coal, have you checked your supply chain?

Campaign kicks off with High-level Event on #FairInternships

Could 2021 be a turning point for forests and climate change?

New UN Syria envoy pledges to work ‘impartially and diligently’ towards peace

The sustainable fashion revolution is well underway. These 5 trends prove it

Arrest of three Libyans wanted for grave crimes ‘would send strong and necessary message’ to victims, urges top Prosecutor

Rule of Law mechanism applies without further delay as of 1 January, MEPs stress

Indonesia has a plan to deal with its plastic waste problem

Rise in violent conflict shows prevention ‘more necessary than ever’: UN chief

Yemen: ‘A great first step’ UN declares as aid team accesses grain silo which can feed millions

Using CO2 as an industrial feedstock could change the world. Here’s how

Protecting European consumers: toys and cars on top of the list of dangerous products

MEPs call for the protection of fundamental values in the EU and worldwide

The West and Russia accomplished the dismembering and the economic destruction of Ukraine

WHO chief underscores need to address climate change following visit to Bahamas

After the George Floyd protests, what next for racial justice in the US?

80,000 youngsters at risk in DRC after forcible expulsion from Angola: UNICEF

Don’t take African generosity towards refugees for granted, says UN refugee chief

Humanitarian action: New outlook for EU’s global aid delivery challenged by COVID-19

Food choices today, impact health of both ‘people and planet’ tomorrow

From DIY editing to matchmaking by DNA: how human genomics is changing society

How global tech can drive local healthcare innovation in China

Here’s why the tech sector could be the next target for Chinese investment in Africa

Is South Korea set to lose from its FTA with the EU?

Artificial Intelligence raises ethical, policy challenges – UN expert

The future of manufacturing is smart, secure and stable

European Semester Autumn Package: Bolstering inclusive and sustainable growth

Can the world take the risk of a new financial armageddon so that IMF doesn’t lose face towards Tsipras?

GSMA Mobile 360 – Africa: Rise of the Digital Citizen, Kigali 16 – 18 July 2019, in association with The European Sting

Universal Health Coverage will ‘drive progress’ on 2030 Development Agenda

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Good post. Women in medicine are changing the way that people view their profession. This change could not come at a better time- as we need all hands on deck for the global health crisis that looms ahead of us! Please visit my blog, https://www.oilway-valves.com/

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: