A fight for equality: the female fight

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Amália Brandão Piovesan and Ms. Natália Cariello Brotas Corrêa, two medical students at at UVV – Vila Velha University, 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.


The female trajectory through history is marked by their submission to men and by the denial of their civil rights. Those conditions accompanied the women insertion in the job market, creating negative effects, like wage shortfall, lack of recognition and absence of women in leadership positions. In the 21st century, even after many fights for gender equality in work aspect, women still suffer from prejudice and stigmatization (MINELLA, 2017). 

There are two principles that come together to build the work sexual division of labor: segregation and hierarchy. First, the segregation principle consists in the fact that there is a difference between the jobs, some are identified as female and others as male. Hierarchy creates men superiority in workspaces (SIQUEIRA & SAMPAIO, 2017). Therefore, it´s noticeable that both concepts determine the function that women should follow or not, without freedom of choice, feeding male domination over women. 

Globalization has favored the advance of the feminist movement by sharing ideals of liberty and equality and contributing to the evolution in gender relationships. Thus, there was a reframing through the social identity imposed to women, which related them to characteristics such as “fragile”, “sensitive” and “sweet”, denying them those which are valued in a professional (RAIMONDI, 2019). It´s worth to remember that women have two roles that are, by definition, irreconcilable. The ideal of maternity describes a mother with an unrestricted availability to take care of children. A similar description is found in the ideal professional, who also needs an unconditional dedication. The role of motherhood seems to become more difficult for women to have more than one job, while the paternity does not show any interference on multiple activities. It has already been proven that the more children a woman has the less jobs opportunities she will have. At the same time, exactly the opposite situation happens to men (SANTOS, 2010). 

Despite the advances, many discrimination settings remain, even if veiled. In the medical context, the entrance in a hegemonically male place is filled with challenges, such as the double journey of being a mother and a professional (TRABBOLD et al., 2020). These are facts: women receive smaller wages, which are still seen as complementary to the men, and take more time to reach senior management positions, even when they have a similar curriculum of a men. Gender impacts even in the choice of specialization because there some areas which are considered more feminine than others, like dermatologist, gynecologist-obstetrician and psychiatrist (SANTOS, 2010). 

However, the female presence is increasing in the medical domain, a phenomenon, known as feminization of medicine, that contributes to the mitigation of inequalities in the health environment. In that sense, the 2030 Agenda, which represents goals set by the UN to reach against discriminations, gender-based violence, and conquer female empowering promotion. Therefore, it is essential give voice to women to be able to approach isonomy in the job market, especially in medicine. 

MENDES TRABBOLD, V. L. .; PEREIRA SANTOS, M. I. .; LIMA CALEIRO, R. C. .; FAGUNDES SILVEIRA, M. .; SPÍNOLA DUARTE DE OLIVEIRA, V.; RIBEIRO CAVALCANTE, M. Mulheres na medicina em Montes Claros-MG: repercussões de gênero na trajetória profissional : Women in medicine in Montes Claros-MG: gender repercussions on the professional trajectory. Revista Caminhos da Historia, v. 23, n. 2, p. 138-159, 18 maio 2020. 

REFERENCES:

MINELLA, Luzinete Simões. Medicina e feminização em universidades brasileiras: o gênero nas interseções. Rev. Estud. Fem.,  Florianópolis ,  v. 25, n. 3, p. 1111-1128,  Dec.  2017 .   Available from <http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-026X2017000301111&lng=en&nrm=iso&gt;. access on  18  Mar.  2021.  https://doi.org/10.1590/1806-9584.2017v25n3p1111.  

OS 17 OBEJTIVOS DE DESENVOLVIMENTO SUSTENTÁVEL. Plataforma Agenda 2030, 2015. Avaible from:<http://www.agenda2030.org.br/ods/5/#:~:text=O%20esfor%C3%A7o%20de%20alcance%20do,um%20importante%20legado%20dos%20ODM.> Access on: 20, Mar. 2021.

RAIMONDI, Gustavo Antonio et al . Ensinoaprendizagem de Gênero e Sexualidade em um Curso de Medicina no Brasil: promovendo o Cuidado Integral em Saúde e os Direitos Humanos. Rev. bras. educ. med.,  Brasília ,  v. 43, n. 2, p. 130-142,  June  2019 .   Available from <http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-55022019000200130&lng=en&nrm=iso&gt;. access on  24  Mar.  2021.  https://doi.org/10.1590/1981-52712015v43n2rb20180125.

SANTOS, Tânia Steren dos. Gênero e carreira profissional na Medicina. Mulher e trabalho,  Rio de Janeiro ,  v. 4, 2004.   Available from <https://revistas.planejamento.rs.gov.br/index.php/mulheretrabalho/issue/view/176/showToc&gt;. access on  20  Mar.  2021.   

SiqueiraD.; SamparoA. J. OS DIREITOS DA MULHER NO MERCADO DE TRABALHO: DA DISCRIMINAÇÃO DE GÊNERO À LUTA PELA IGUALDADE. Revista Direito em Debate, v. 26, n. 48, p. 287-325, 28 dez. 2017. 

About the authors

Amália Brandão Piovesan was born on September 18th of 2002, in Serra, Espírito Santo, Brazil. Nowadays, she studies Medicine at UVV – Vila Velha University, coursing the second period on college. 

Natália Cariello Brotas Corrêa, born on April 26th of 2002, in Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil. Currently studying medicine at the Vila Velha University (UVV), coursing the second period on college.

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