Strategies for increasing recruitment of female medical graduates to surgical specialties: a role for medical schools

By Victoria Cook

Victoria attended the 2016 UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York.

Abstract

Since 2001, the majority of students graduating from Australian medical schools have been female. Yet in 2015, only 9.2% of surgeons were female, a figure that declines further in sub-specialties such as orthopaedics[1]. Female students accurately perceive significant gender-based barriers to building a successful career in surgery. These negative perceptions are compounded and exaggerated by experiences of medical education. Increasing the numbers of women in surgery requires a comprehensive approach across all stages of medical education, as well as surgical training and practice. This paper will focus on the role that universities can play in encouraging a more gender-neutral pattern of specialisation in medical graduates, in particular by increasing the number of female graduates choosing surgery.

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Invest in an Indigenous girl, and she’ll do the rest: Empowering girls today makes for a more prosperous tomorrow

By Renee White

Renee attended the 2016 UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York.

Abstract

Over the past several decades in Australia, there have been a range of attempts to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Indigenous women continue to be severely disadvantaged across their lifetimes, notably lacking access to relevant and effective education opportunities and the tools to support them through to successful careers. In recent years, a focus has been placed on developing the educational performance of boys, which has drawn attention away from addressing the educational inequalities of Indigenous girls.[1] It is important that Indigenous women are supported to become drivers of change, and that policies are created to remove the divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women, including through addressing unequal education opportunities. In line with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,[2] and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action,[3] this paper serves to identify the key causes of the current inequality and recommend practical actions for change.

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Intergenerational Holistic Equity Index: Mapping Intergenerational Inequality in Australia

By Stephanie Thomson

Stephanie attended the 2015 United Nations Economic and Social Council Youth Forum in New York.

Abstract

Intergenerational inequality threatens the sustainability of Australia’s welfare system and the prosperity of future generations. This report sets out the findings of Australia’s first comprehensive measure of intergenerational inequality: the Intergenerational Holistic Equity Index (‘IHE Index’).  The index is the result of collaboration between the author and the Intergenerational Foundation, an independent UK charity that pioneered the index methodology in this field.  It has long been assumed that future generations will live better lives than their predecessors.  This report illuminates trends in Australian data over the last 15 years that challenge such assumptions.  Significantly, the IHE Index reveals that overall outcomes for youth and future generations have worsened 13% since the year 2000, driven by both economic and environmental factors. Economic outcomes alone have declined significantly, down 34% since 2000. Environmental factors also indicate deterioration in outcomes for future generations, worsening 8% over the past 15 years.  Individual and societal wellbeing is the only component seen to improve, rising 3%.  If these trends continue into the next 35 years, this report argues that the future of Australia’s tax and transfer system is under threat, with overall lifestyle outcomes predicted to worsen by 70%.

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