Every year the United Nations holds the Council for Status of Women. In non-pandemic times it is held in New York, this year it was held virtually and 25,000 people participated. The Australian Federation of Medical Women (AFMW), of which I’m a member, had a parallel event to the council meeting as an accredited NGO.
Our organisation spoke to the topic ‘Australian Medical Women as Advocates for Gender Equity’, particularly during COVID19. We had a 90 minute session on Saturday afternoon presenting about 10 short sharp directed presentations on topics from climate change, women in leadership, pregnancy related topics, such as on foetal alcohol syndrome, and all based around the sustainable development goals and the effects from COVID19.
The Medical Women’s Society – ACT and Region (an affiliate of AFMW) spoke on our advocacy for prevention of gender-based violence and abuse in a 15 minute presentation. All of us who presented have some connection with GP Synergy. My talk was informed by one of our Cultural Educators, Gwen Troutman-Weir, who provided guidance on introducing that part of the presentation on issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Prof Amanda Barnard, Associate Dean of ANU School of Rural and Indigenous Health spoke on the work we have done as women doctors as educators at universities, with doctors in training, and with peers at WONCA around the world. We also covered the experience of telehealth consultations during lockdowns. Dr Anita Hutchison, a GP supervisor in Canberra spoke as the expert by experience about the advocacy she leads in Doctors Against Violence to Women. Since the March 4Justice for which she had been one of the organisers had just occurred, and been in the international news, this was very timely. Another member of our team is another regional local doctor Dr Melanie Dorrington, who has presented with me to our registrars in the Murrumbidgee and ACT subregion on the topic of intimate partner violence. Melanie rounded off our presentation to include the effects on, and the rights of, children affected by domestic violence.
We provided a range of resources to share with others from low and middle income countries.
All the council events were webcast and all were recorded, you can learn more here: https://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw65-2021. I also attended a number of side events as a participant and was able to ask questions of a panel and got a mention of the March4 Justice Event in Canberra from the Chair.
Dr Marjorie Cross OAM | GP Supervisor Medical Educator