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Reducing gender inequities to make accessible health care - Core issues for medical education and practice

A Collaborative Gender Sensitization Workshop – CEHAT and VDGMC Latur on 22nd November 2022

CEHAT’s work on ‘Integrating Gender in Medical Education’ is unique and dynamic with ever evolving strategies planned and executed to carry on a continued engagement with medical educators and students to deepen the work. A decade long work in the state of Maharashtra has resulted in a pool of trained medical educators who have integrated gender in their classroom teaching as well as at some places brought about changes to introduce gender sensitive medical practices. But the need to take the work to a larger group of medical educators and engagement with students is of prime importance for this integration of become an inherent part of the medical education.

It is with this thought to that the GME team and Forensic and Medicine Department (FMT) of Latur decided to conduct day long workshops with medical educators from different disciplines and with students as well on 22 November 2022. A GME trained faculty, Dr. Mahadev Bansude, Professor from FMT department took up the responsibility of organising, designing and execution of this workshop. There were around 35 medical educators from different disciplines, both clinical and non – clinical branches. The event was inaugurated by  Dean of the medical college . A panel of 3 presentations on the theme of ‘Gender Based Violence as a Public Health Issue and Role of Doctors’. The most pertinent issues on increasing suicides among women and gender sensitive care to sexual violence survivors were covered during the session. The participants found the sessions interesting and useful. The group was interactive, asked questions and had their own experiences to share from their own practice.

Another  session on ‘Sex, Gender and Gender Identities’ was organised for the students. It was attended by 80 students. The session was planned with lots of activities and short informative videos to make it interesting for students. The students participated enthusiastically in the activities. Some of the students also expressed that it was for the first time that they came to know that gender exists beyond binaries and that individuals of different gender identities need to be respected. They also expressed that it was really enlightening for them to realize how social factors have an impact on health of an individual.

Some Appreciation quotes from students

“The workshop helped me to understand difference between sex and gender and how gender is socially constructed. Also, it helped me to understand problems faced by transgenders and how doctors need to treat them sensitively”.

“The workshop was useful and I’m now aware of various gender identities. As a progressive society we should treat all genders with respect’.

“Culture based thoughts on gender needs to be changed. Gender should be integrated from school level teaching curriculum.”