Breaking Down Gender Barriers

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Stefany Micaela Villavicencio Barragán was born on September 9th, 2000 in Quito Ecuador. 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.


Women have the power of remain as the most fragile glass while being a formidable warrior who even in adversity is clothed with strength and dignity.

In 2014 I was competing in a cycling competition at my school. As I was advancing my speed, I began to lose control of my bikes handlebars. My reflexes was immediate as I braked, I watched as the contestants advance and pass me by, but it was too late for me. I lost my balance, I had no time to protect myself and fell on the ground ending up with a small cut on my jaw.

I went to the hospital and the doctor performed a suture procedure on my cut. My father was next to me and made a comment to the doctor telling him of my dream of becoming a MD. I was hoping for a encouraging word, some support, advice for my future. But instead of a good outlook the doctor said, “Why don’t get married and have children?” A feeling of frustration completely washed over me.

Through the years these words continue to flourish and be predominate in every third world developing countries. Woman have been put in the smalls of resigning that housework and homemaking is the only place for woman.

My question is, is this the only job we can do? The answer deserves an outright NO! Women are highly capable of being successful in countless areas of business. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to practice the profession of doctor in the world, 1849; Matilde Hidalgo de Procel was the first High school graduate of Ecuador, the first doctor of Ecuador, the first to vote in Ecuador and Latin American, in 1924. Even when everything that surrounds Matilde Hidalgo de Procel got against her to truncate her dreams and goals, despite being in a society dominated by men in this country.

Another example is, in 2020, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing a method for genome editing, marking the starting point for countless new discoveries in science. All these women eliminated most of the barriers even though being inflicted by self-serving society, woman help chart a new path for woman without limits.

Who said that you cannot be mother, have a degree and be successful? Who said that there cannot be woman whose dreams goes beyond having a family? Who said that the hard-working mother is a prisoner that keeps her from transcending into the world outside her doorway?

The time of underestimate and doubt the ability of woman has come to an end, regardless of external voices, is necessary not to limit the progress. One of the characteristics of women is being tenacious and fierce, only sterile and archaic minds will belittle the value of woman.

It’s a duty owed to the one’s conscious, to learn humanity is to give the place that corresponds to women, to work for a future with more opportunities for women around the world.

About the author

Stefany Micaela Villavicencio Barragán was born on September 9th, 2000 in Quito Ecuador. Her parents are accountants and she has two younger sisters; graduated from “Unidad Educativa Particular Cristiano Verbo” and obtained the position of “Portaestandarte de la Ciudad”, Right now she finished Third Semester of Medicine in “Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial”. At the age of 15 attend to the: “Encuentro Multidisciplinario de Neurociencias” from the “Hospital Vozandes Quito” where she confirmed her passion for Neurology. She loves God and her family and refuse to live in a world that limits women dreams and goals.

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