Leading Article: A Fair Point about Women's Progress in the Professions

The Independent (London, England), August 2, 2004 | Go to article overview
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Leading Article: A Fair Point about Women's Progress in the Professions


THE INCREASING number of women entering medicine and other professions is hailed as proof of how many more opportunities there are now for women in Britain and how successfully women have seized them. The so-called "feminisation" of the professions is embraced almost universally as "a good thing" - which it is - not just for women, but for the professions themselves. In medicine, it is credited with bringing a more "caring" style to surgeries, as well as permitting more women to choose a female GP.

So the observations of Professor Carol Black, as reported in this newspaper today, will raise eyebrows. Prof Black, who heads the Royal College of Physicians, argues that the "feminisation" of medicine also has a downside. The greater number of women becoming doctors, she says, risks diminishing the status of medicine and its political clout. This, she says, has happened in teaching.

Some will say that Prof Black is plain wrong. Others may dismiss her views as peculiar to a generation of women pioneers who supposedly resent the relative ease with which other women have followed through the doors they forced open.

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Leading Article: A Fair Point about Women's Progress in the Professions
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