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AMWA at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

 

Drs. Pamela Brug, Juana Hutchinson-Colas, Ramneek Dosanjh, Rosy Thachil, Eliza Chin, Padmini Murthy, Gloria Bachmann

This month marked 68th Session of the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which was held from March 11-22, 2024. AMWA is affiliated with the UN Department of Global Communication (DGC) and every year for the past several years has organized an official side event during UN CSW. This year’s event was held on March 11, 2024 – Women Physicians Working to Prioritize Gender Equality in Promoting SDGs and was co-sponsored by Women in Global Health and the Federation of Medical Women of Canada.

AMWA Side Event during the UN CSW – March 11

Dr. Elizabeth Garner and Dr. Padmini Murthy

AMWA’s side event was organized by Dr. Padmini Murthy (AMWA Global Health Lead) and Dr. Roberta Gebhard (AMWA Past President). The keynote was delivered by Dr. Elizabeth Garner, AMWA President who spoke of the need to fix the gender gap in healthcare leadership. In a society where women make up 75% of the healthcare workforce and make 80% of household health decisions, women still comprise less than 30% of the leadership within healthcare. The first panel was moderated by Dr. Roberta Gebhard and featured AMWA members Dr. Rosy Thachil, Dr. Pamela Brug, Dr. Juana Hutchinson-Colas. The second panel was moderated by Dr. Padmini Murthy and featured Dr. Roopa Dhatt (Women in Global Health), Dr. Ramneek Dosanjh (Federation of Medical Women of Canada), Dr. Gloria Bachmann (AMWA), and Liz Bickley (Korn Ferry Health). The discussion covered various topics and focused in key areas, including health equity strategies that require addressing health disparities due to race, ethnicity, and social determinants of health, ensuring a diverse and inclusive leadership, removing silos to engage stakeholder teams, harnessing the power of technology and leveraging AI, improving access through innovative delivery models, and promoting women’s health and women’s wellbeing.

Panel 2

Panel 1

Dr. Bachmann

All Speakers

 

Discussions focused on the gender disparities that exist in vulnerable populations, especially among racial / ethnic minorities and those of low socioeconomic status, and the impact of these disparities on outcomes for patients, families, and communities. The importance of addressing workforce and pipeline issues was highlighted to allow all voices a seat at the table. Health as a human right was a key theme along with concerns that the global inequitable treatment of women and girls is hindering and preventing progress around the world.

The event concluded with a poem shared by Dr. Padmini Murthy, “A Woman.”

 

Liz Bickley

Dr. Padmini Murthy Moderates High Level Event – March 15

On March 15, Dr. Murthy moderated a high level event commemorating the priority theme of CSW 68 at the UN Delegates Dining Room: “Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective.” The speakers included: H. E Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury Former Under-Secretary-General/and High Representative of the UN, H.E. Ann Marie Davis, First Lady of Bahamas, and H.E Ambassador Sophia Tesfamariam Yohannes of the Republic of Eritrea to the UN.

 

Dr. Murthy and Ambassador Gupta

Dr. Murthy with H.E. First Lady of Bahamas

Dr. Murthy with Ambassador Thomas

Dr. Murthy with Ambassador Thomas

Road to Universal Healthcare

MWIA and AMWA Side Event

Dr. Connie Newman, MWIA North America Vice President and AMWA Past President, organized the side event, Eliminating Gender-Based Inequities in Healthcare to Achieve Gender Equality which featured the following speakers, Dr. Connie Newman, Dr. Eleanor Nwadinobi (MWIA President), Dr. Mariam Jashi (MWIA Secretary General), Dr. Gabrielle Casper (President IHAN), Dr. Sorosh Roshan (Founder IHAN), Dr. Banafcheh Hejazi (Canada), Salima Namusobya (Africa), Fay Parris (Women’s Bar Association), Dr. Ellen Ferranti (AMWA) and Dr. Eliza Chin. Dr. Connie Newman authored a statement ahead of the UN CSW on behalf of MWIA which can be viewed here. In addition, she authored a statement on behalf of MWIA and AMWA on 3/12 here.

MWIA Group Photo

Dr. Connie Newman

MWIA Executive Board and Partners

AMWA Co-Sponsors Several Side Events

AMWA was a co-sponsor of several other official side events:
• The Road to Universal Health Coverage is paved with investments in Women Health Care Providers – March 12, 2024 (Operation Smile). Dr. Padmini Murthy was a featured speaker.
• Learning to Advocate for Ourselves, Our Community, And Into The Future: Tips From Female Physicians (Federation of Medical Women of Canada). Dr. Eliza Chin was a featured speaker.

AMWA Hosts Screening and Discussion of Afghan Dreamers

L-R Rukshar Azamee, Dr. Douglas Chin, Florence Pouya, David Greenwald, Fawzia Koofi

On March 13, AMWA also organized a special screening and discussion of the film Afghan Dreamers (Paramount Plus), which tells the inspiring story of the Afghan girls robotic team who overcame all odds to compete internationally in robotics competitions. AMWA hosted this team in 2018 and AMWA member, Dr. Douglas Chin was an associate producer and creator for this film. Following the screening, a panel discussion was held with David Greenwald (Film Director), Florence Pouya (former Afghan Dreamers Team Member), Fawzia Koofi (former Afghan Vice President of Parliament and author), Dr. Douglas Chin (Associate Producer and Creator), and moderator Rukhsar Azamee (Human Rights Activist and former Afghan journalist). The discussion shed light on the dire situation facing women in Afghanistan today, underscoring their alarming lack of access to basic human rights. The film served as a powerful platform to amplify the voices of Afghan women, showcasing their resilience and courage in the face of adversity and emphasizing the need for continued support and advocacy. The event was co-organized by Harvard Asian American Alliance and co-sponsored by XPrize, Anousheh Ansari, and an anonymous donor, with in-kind sponsors Women in Global Health and Medical Women’s International Association.

AMWA Leaders

 

Speakers

The lived experience of Afghan women and their ongoing struggles was also featured in a special exhibit at the United Nations.

AMWA Co-Sponsors Discussion on Gender Harassment in the Workplace

On March 15, AMWA was a co-sponsor of The World of Work: A Candid Discussion About Our Best Practices for Vibrancy, organized by Fay Parrish at the New York Bar Association. Dr. Connie Newman was a featured speaker, and Dr. Eliza Chin, Dr. Roberta Gebhard, and Dr. Gloria Bachman also provided perspectives during this event. The diverse and collective voices by women from a variety of professional sectors converged around a central theme of the need to end gender-based harassment in the workplace and instead to build a more unified culture of inclusion, belonging, and advancement for all in the workplace.

Other Events

Dr. Padmini Murthy, AMWA’s Global Health Lead attended a special reception at the US Mission hosted by US CSW 68 and co-hosted by U.S. Ambassadors Linda Thomas Greenfield and Geeta Rao Gupta, Ambassador at Large for Women’s Global Affairs.

Dr. Gebhard attended a special town hall held by UN Secretary General Tedros and UN Women Executive Director.

International Women’s Day

Just prior to UN CSW events, AMWA celebrated International Women’s Day with a special message from Her Excellency Mellisa Santokhi-Seenacherry, the first Lady of Suriname, about AMWA’s menstrual equity project. In addition, Dr. Padmini Murthy spoke on South African television about “hope for women” and the need for partnership with men to achieve gender parity.

Quotes from AMWA Delegates

“Factors that impact global wellbeing of are the “isms” racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, classism…The systems were not designed for us or by us. Ensuring flattening of the hierarchies and power dynamics to promote trauma informed, culturally safe care while addressing social determinants of health for all patients and communities is imperative.” — Dr. Ramneek Dosanjh

“Equity is Social Justice…We must address the social determinants of health for equitable wellness.” — Pamela Brug

“It’s crucial that we advance gender equity for both the woman patient and the woman physician. Women comprise half the patient population, and greater than half of medical school matriculants.” — Dr. Rosy Thachil
“Woman physicians need to be robustly represented in all facets of healthcare where decisions are made (clinical, research, public health, policy, executive boards, etc).” — Dr. Rosy Thachil
“Health equity moves ahead by women joining hands and speaking with strong voices. AMWA brings together this team and these strong voices!” — Dr. Gloria Bachmann
“Being a leader in these disruptive times demands empathy, compassion and understanding. It requires you to meet others where they are now with humility and authenticity. Promoting conscious inclusion by bringing everyone to the table so that you can listen, learn and then lead to a place not entirely visible today. A better place.” — Liz Bickley
“Women hold up more than ‘half the sky,’ and the annual CSW highlights the progress made and the barriers and challenges women around the world continue to face every day. As public delegate of the official U.S. delegation to the UN CSW in 2022, I understand that it takes powerful partnerships to bring about positive change.”  — Dr. Padmini Murthy

 

Drs. Gebhard and Chin with ERA leaders

Dr. Gebhard and Chin at the ERA Event

Dr. Murthy and Florence Pouya with the first-ever-African-Union-Special-Envoy-on-Youth-2018-2021

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