Advancing women in science, medicine, and global health

This special issue from The Lancet focusses on SDG 5 (gender equality) within science, medicine, and global health, contributing to SDG 3 (good health and wellbeing).  This issue also contributes to SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG 10 (reduced inequalities).

The Lancet's special issue on advancing women in science, medicine, and global health, contains new international evidence on forms of gender bias in funding; women’s attrition in clinical training programmes; the extent to which universities worldwide have actualised their public commitments to gender and ethnic diversity; and the relationship between women’s leadership in science and the production of sex/gender-related research.

New analysis and commentary establish the importance of feminist and masculinity theories, and problematise organisational strategies for increasing gender diversity in medicine and science. The importance of intersectionality, learning from the Global South, and the under-recognition of women’s experience of harassment and abuse are key themes.

Collectively, the theme issue lays out robust evidence to inform an action plan for institutional leaders to confront gender bias, improve diversity and inclusivity, and drive change. Strategies to redress inequalities are not just women’s issues—they require the full participation of everyone in deeper explanations and solutions.

Elsevier, The Lancet, Volume 393, 9 - 15 February 2019
Background: Clinical and preclinical studies have shown that there are sex-based differences at the genetic, cellular, biochemical, and physiological levels. Despite this, numerous studies have shown poor levels of inclusion of female populations into medical research. These disparities in sex inclusion in research are further complicated by the absence of sufficient reporting and analysis by sex of study populations. Disparities in the inclusion of the sexes in medical research substantially reduce the utility of the results of such research for the entire population.
Elsevier, The Lancet, Volume 393, 9 - 15 February 2019
Background: Women are under-represented in surgery and leave training in higher proportions than men. Studies in this area are without a feminist lens and predominantly use quantitative methods not well suited to the complexity of the problem. Methods: In this qualitative study, a researcher interviewed women who had chosen to leave surgical training.