The historic female struggle in medicine

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Caroline Ayumi Waricoda Horaguti, a 24 years old medical student at Cesumar University, Brasil. She is 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 writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

The role of women throughout history has gone through different phases, serving for years only for reproduction, breastfeeding and raising children. Due to the submission to male authority, women believed for a long time that they could only fulfill the role of mother and educator of their children. However, the fight against the imposition of tasks and postures has been going on since the Middle Ages, with the occurrence of the “Witch Hunt”, the genocide against women who acted against the “traditional” way, challenging a system that revolved around the needs of the men.

After World War I and II, the introduction of women into the labor market began due to the need to assume the financial support of the home and positions in the labor market while men went to battle. Even inserted in this sphere, women had not achieved the same rights as men, being subjected to miserable conditions, unequal pay and still being forced to deal with double working hours, as the functions of the house and the children continued as their responsibility.

The presence of women in the field of medicine takes place since the Middle Ages through medicinal practices, calling them healers. Until the 12th century, women worked mostly as a midwife, and it was a privilege of men to graduate in Medicine. With the emergence of the feminist movement in Germany in 1899, some colleges allowed women to enroll in the course, however, only in the 1960s and 1970s, social and political movements boosted the presence of women in public universities.

The fight for gender equality in the field of medicine continues until nowadays. After a long period of predominance of men, the growth in the number of women in the area is evident, however, sexism in medicine is still present and needs to be deconstructed. Even during graduation, it is not uncommon for women medical students to be challenged daily to prove their knowledge alongside men who do not need the same effort. When choosing a specialty, women are questioned when choosing surgical areas and not pediatrics, gynecology and obstetrics, for example, because the breaking of paradigms deconstructs a fragile and delicate woman’s imagery, a daily struggle for all women.

Even after countless advances, it is possible to see a long way to go. The struggle for equal pay, respect and recognition is still present, however, with more support from society. Today, the expressive presence of women in increasingly diverse positions and functions reaffirms their delimitation of space in the community. Such achievements should be celebrated daily, but even so, the struggle and awareness of the rights that we still have to acquire should not be forgotten but used as a fuel in the search for gender equality in Medicine.

About the author

Caroline Ayumi Waricoda Horaguti is 24 years old and a medical student at Cesumar University. She is a member of IFMSA Brasil Unicesumar, the Academic League of Medical Semiology of Maringá (LASEMM) and the Academic League of Family and Community Medicine (LAMFaC)

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?


  1. […] Read more @ […]

  2. […] Read more @ […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your 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: