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The role of women physicians in improving maternal health (M

  • Broadcast in Health
African Views

African Views


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Historically and in many parts of the world, women's participation in the profession of medicine (as physicians, for instance) was significantly restricted.  Most countries of the world now guarantee equal access by women to medical education, although not all ensure equal employment opportunities. Many scholars have stressed the importance of incorporating women’s perspectives into policies and programs from their inception rather than added on after the policies have already been formulated.

Judy Erola, former Canadian federal cabinet minister, shared with me her belief that” The policies that women advocate are not just beneficial for women but for society as a whole. If women don’t speak out, all of society suffers”.  Significant women’s representation in leadership positions in maternal health care systems can hasten the achievement of MDG 5.

Women’s International Association’s (MWIA) whose motto is “Matris Animo Curant” (They heal with the spirit of a mother) has been mobilizing this maternal spirit across the globe since 1919. In 2008, more than 650 women doctors from over 50 countries attended the 2008 year with large delegations representing Nigeria (over 100), the Philippines, and South Korea. Today, the organization has grown exponentially with several chapters around the globe. Women physicians being the minority is a thing of the past, as women constitute at least 50% of many medical schools. Thanks to the women who have set the pace for gender parity on women’s participation in the profession of medicine as physicians:

Guest:  Dr. Shelley Ross.

Host Dr. Padmii Murthy Co-host: Dr. Elvira Berachochea
Executive Producer: Wale Idris Ajibade