Transposing gender inequalities: the expenditure of achievements

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Beatriz Camargo Gazzi and Ms. Evelin Leonara Dias da Silva, currently third year medical students at the Faculdade de Medicina de Taubaté (Taubaté / São Paulo, 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.


In 1887 the first woman, Rita Lobato, received her diploma in medicine in Brazil, after defending her graduation thesis entitled “Parallels between the methods recommended in caesarean surgery”. Since then, the participation of women in medicine has grown exponentially, and a female predominance among newly registered professionals has been observed as of 2009.

However, this process is characterised by a series of problems arising from the requirements imposed and accepted for this purpose, whose repercussions, both individually and collectively, impact on women’s health. Intrinsically, work relations are mirrored in social constructions, based on power structures, giving the professional environment singularities consistent with the transposition of the logic of oppression.

The medical field, typically marked by hierarchies, whether explicit or not, allows the identification of this phenomenon. This in several spheres, such as the choice of the specialties, in the financial gain and, predominantly, in the gender distinctions, still stereotyped. Thus, the necessity to problematize aspects inherent to the daily life of doctors and medical students is evidenced.

Since the lack of overcoming these obstacles, generally associated to a double working day, and a series of demands, both professional and personal and cultural, coming from a social construction, makes the search for excellence to be exorbitant. This has a direct impact on women’s health, both in physical and psychological aspects. Studies carried out in the last decade, in the field of occupational medicine, show the consequences of this behaviour on women’s health.

The incidence of cardiovascular accidents amongst female doctors is growing, associated with an increase in the number of anxiety and depression crises experienced by these professionals, accompanied of alcoholsism and consumption of narcotics and stimulant drugs. However, it is worth mentioning the patent generalized unawareness about the effects of work on women’s health.

This is because studies on female workers are restricted to reproductive aspects, guided by the undoubted principle of the desire for maternity. In this manner, all legislation protecting women is centred on this aspect, restricting them to the condition of being mothers, to the detriment of other interests and requirements.

One of the neglected aspects is precisely the professional ambition, associated with the growing conquest of prominent positions. Thus, in the herculean attempt to overcome the gender disparities, women submit themselves to exhaustive routines, as hostages of external pressures, guided by the ephemeral belief of supplying their own expectations and obstacles.

This is the description of the Wonder Woman Syndrome, which routinely afflicts modern women. Therefore, the conceptualization of this phenomenon becomes each time more pertinent, as well as its reverberations, in individual and collective spheres.

This is so because the insertion of women in the medical field demands a bioethical and behavioral review. This phenomenon highlights the current power structure, as well as the asymmetries arising from the process of socialization between genders, reproduced in the professional environment.

About the author

Beatriz Camargo Gazzi and Evelin Leonara Dias da Silva are currently third year medical students at the Faculdade de Medicina de Taubaté (Taubaté / São Paulo, Brazil). They are members of the International Federation of Medical Student Associations of Brazil (IFMSA-BRASIL). Both strongly believe in gaining places of speech, either in medicine or in other spheres, propitiating the debate of pertinent themes and the conquest of more egalitarian means.

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

Malaysia has achieved high levels of growth, but must do more to address governance and social challenges

ECB: Euro area should smooth out the consumption and income shocks of its members

The challenges of mental health among the Syrian medical students

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

The European Parliament x-rays the troika’s doings

We’re all in the same boat on the SDGs. Here’s how we steer a course

Health conditions for citizens of Yemen’s key port city ‘remain critical’ says UN agency

An Eastern Wind

MWC 2016 LIVE: Verizon boasts momentum for IoT platform

UNICEF warns of ‘lost generation’ of Rohingya youth, one year after Myanmar exodus

State aid: Commission approves €53 million public support scheme for charging stations for low emission vehicles in Romania

The vital role played by logistics during humanitarian crises

EU Summit: Why was Poland isolated in opposing Tusk and the ‘multi speed’ Europe

Zero Pollution: Vast majority of Europe’s bathing waters meet the highest quality standards

COVID-19 Update: Solidarity and Joint Efforts Shall be the Main Theme For China and Europe in the Fight Against the Outbreak

We all have a ‘hierarchy of needs’. But is technology meeting them?

10 expert predictions for the next decade in Chinese AI

ECB offers plenty and cheap liquidity to support growth in all Eurozone countries

For how long will terror and economic stagnation be clouding the European skies?

Why age inclusive workforces play a crucial role in building back a better society post-COVID

The London City-EU connection holds despite of Brexit and the ban of LSE-Deutsche Börse merger

This start-up has developed a way for businesses to quickly compost food waste

Coronavirus: Commission starts testing interoperability gateway service for national contact tracing and warning apps

EU tax haven blacklist not catching worst offenders

MEPs want ambitious funding for cross-border projects to connect people

‘Let the children live’: UN prepares to ramp up food aid to Yemen as famine risk grows

Rule of Law: European Commission refers Poland to the European Court of Justice to protect independence of Polish judges and asks for interim measures

Strengthened EU export control rules kick in

China’s New Normal and Its Relevance to the EU

UN chief sends condolences to families of Malawi flood victims

Destroying nuclear waste to create clean energy? It can be done

A machine din

Just 24% of news sources are women. Here’s why that’s a problem

How defining intangible investments can help grow the knowledge economy

Chatbots are on the rise. This approach accounts for their risks

EU-wide penalties for money laundering: deal with Council

Do not confuse food charity with ‘right to food’, UN expert tells Italians, labelling food system exploitative

3 things you need to know about securing a blockchain

This is how Europe is helping companies and workers as the coronavirus crisis deepens

Europe led by Germany seems vulnerable to Trump’s threats

Cutting CO2 emissions from trucks: MEPs reach deal with Council

What is a gender parity accelerator, and how does it work?

Capital Markets Union: Commission reports on progress achieved ahead of European Council

Doctors and nurses around the world are calling in sick

The Commission offers exit from the EU budget stalemate

E-Government can be a remedy for the crisis

Nature is our strongest ally in ensuring global water security

Greening the Belt and Road is essential to our climate’s future

5 key themes for reforming the EU, as elections loom

Costa Rica has doubled its tropical rainforests in just a few decades. Here’s how

Parliament adopts its position on digital copyright rules

Canada has high levels of well-being and solid growth but trade tensions and housing market pose risks while inclusiveness could be improved

Coronavirus: Commission steps up research funding with €120 million for 11 new projects to tackle the virus and its variants

Acute food insecurity ‘far too high’ UN agency warns, as 113 million go hungry

The glimmers of hope in the latest dire climate report

Unemployment and stagnation can tear Eurozone apart if austere policies persist

Women and girls in science – from aspiration to reality

This forgotten chemical element could be the key to our green energy future

From inconvenience to opportunity: the importance of international medical exchanges

Coronavirus – here’s the public health advice on how to protect yourself

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: