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Empowering Women in Medicine

Introduction | How Does Your Medical School Compare | Excluding Women -- Endangering Women | The Feminist Difference| Strategies for Change | National Medical Feminist Agenda | Resources | Selected Sources

The National Medical Feminist Agenda

As feminists in the United States, we are committed to achieving social, religious, legal, medical and political equality for ourselves and all women in the nation. To do this, we must have women in medical leadership to carry on the tradition of winning these rights. Good health care should be a right, not a privilege, but for many it remains an elusive reality. The medical feminist agenda supports:


  • The Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ensure equality for women in education and employment in the field of medicine.
  • Equal representation for women in governance and decision-making on boards of national organizations, hospitals, medical schools, and other bodies.
  • Non-discrimination in education and employment on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, physical disability, or age.
  • Pay equity - elimination of the wage gap by race and gender.

Medical Schools

  • Integration of the perspectives, contributions, achievements and experience of women and minorities into all aspects of the curriculum.
  • Gender balance incorporated into every school's strategic plan to guarantee equal numbers of female and male students, senior adminstrators, professors, department chairs and deans.
  • Written parental leave policies complete and distinct from any other benefits (i.e. sick leave or vacation days).
  • On-site, affordable child care for all faculty, staff, and students.


  • Comprehensive standards that ensure research on all products is tested for efficacy and side effects in women.
  • Equity in fellowships, grants and program funds allocations to studies on women's health issues.
  • Adequate enforcement of current regulations requiring research studies in women as well as men.
  • Increased research and development of RU 486, an anti-progestin.

Professional Organizations

  • Strategic plans to achieve gender balance on all governing boards.
  • Comprehensive strategy to obtain membership reflective of the composition of the society's members.

Medical Practice

  • A limit on the number of consecutive and cumulative residency hours scheduled.
  • Flexible residency programs that acknowledge womens and mens multiple roles within and without the profession. Written parental-leave policies that do not compromise any other benefits or insurance programs, or jeopardize one's career path.
  • On-site, affordable child care.
  • Elimination of the wage gap within specialties by race and gender.
  • Written strategic plan to gender-balance the number of physicians within specialties and among administrators, directors, and governing boards.

Health Coverage

  • Increased federal funds to primary and preventive health care for underserved, low-income, uninsured people.
  • Comprehensive national health plan that insures a minimum standard of health care to all citizens.

Reproductive Freedom

  • Provision of abortion and women's health services to all women, regardless of age or ability to pay.
  • Complete, affordable access to all forms of contraceptives.
  • Comprehensive, affordable access to prenatal and postnatal health care.
  • Adequate counseling programs for contraception, AIDS, and pregnancy.
  • Increase in contraceptive and health research.