Back in December 2018, the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Gender Equality Report was released and it was a cause of discomfort for Pakistanis as Pakistan has been ranked the second worst performer in the Gender Equality Index, just behind Yemen! The report indicates discrepancies in four areas including health, education, political empowerment and economic opportunity.
In Pakistan, we have a significant rise in women education over the recent years yet the irony is that still only 25% of women, who possess a university-level degree step into their professional life. This situation is reflected in a wide scope of professions, including medicine. Currently, women comprise 70% of the student body in medical colleges however, only 50% step into professional careers after graduation! And even those who do, they mostly prefer teaching or administrative positions within healthcare organisations since it allows them to work within fixed number of hours.
|Women Doctors in Pakistan|
Blame for the deficiency of doctors in Pakistan is frequently set at the feet of women, huge numbers of whom are blamed for squandering their medical education by never rehearsing as specialists after their marriage. The reality however, isn't that straightforward!
The failure of women to practice medicine after perusing their medical degrees, particularly since public medical colleges are intensely sponsored by the government is considered a triggering issue in our country. The issue of non-rehearsing ladies graduates keeps on being talked about in the print and social media as a marvel named 'Doctor Brides.' In this prevailing view, the medical degree is viewed as a 'hot ticket' for ladies to accomplish better proposition for marriage and accordingly become 'trophy spouses.' Women are depicted as having no genuine want to fill in as doctors however use admission in medicinal schools as an approach to improve their prospects in the 'marriage market' in Pakistan where bringing home a specialist bahu is the craving of every mother.
Frankly speaking women are not presented many options to make a choice out of. In most cases it’s not a matter of want yet it’s the need. First of all it’s a typical mindset that prevails in our society that girls should take medicine as their career because it’s a “respectable” profession. Many of my friends studying in medical college, did not want to pursue medicine instead they wanted to be engineer, pilot, artist or chef yet again the same problem! They were presented the option of medicine so they will get good marriage proposals from “traditional” people. Not to mention that these doctor bahus are later expected after marriage, to be exceptional caretakers, cleaners, model chefs, because wait, aren’t girls are meant for all of these?
Second common problem is, ironically, girls after completing their education are compiled to get married even when they wish to step into their professional medical lives. After marriage, it is another struggle for the girl to convince her in-laws!
These issues have been in the limelight yet still a solution is missing. The choice of choosing the career path and to work [or not work] after marriage should ultimately be left to the girl and these things need to be set in stone right from the beginning.