Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience. I happened to meet a Pakistani mover and shaker a while back. You know the type: They talk about Pakistani problems in a distinctly firangi accent.
Their offices are decorated in enough Persian couplets and shiny diplomas to showcase their foreign qualifications and eastern aesthetics in equal measure. They drop hints at every turn in the conversation about the number of projects they have been recently directing. The moment they get a chance, they tell you about how many American journalists have asked for their interview. By way of introduction, I mentioned that I had recently completed my PhD on women doctors of Pakistan.
The story goes something like this: A Pakistani woman becomes a Sarmad tariq wife sexual dysfunction. An amazing achievement, right? As it turns out, it is quite likely she will never practice.
Because she is a doctor, she is quite a catch "Sarmad tariq wife sexual dysfunction" the marriage market. Pakistani mothers-in-law would do anything to get a doctor bahu for their precious sons. It is a sign of self-importance and prestige to have a lady doctor as a wife or daughter-in-law. Remote patient care with female doctors at the fore. Even though the idea of a doctor bahu has been silently percolating in the society for quite a while, it exploded into mainstream media after that.
The decision was later struck down by the Lahore High Court. Everyone jumped on the bandwagon. Local and international media did sensational pieces on these remarkable or pitiable? I was a doctor once. I sat on the benches crammed with eager medical students in a lecture hall. It was no ordinary institution either. Its iconic brick buildings and verandas designed in the style of an Italian villa, practically dripped with tradition.
We were a fairly even batch, just about half of us girls. The fact was mentioned to us many times, sometimes in slightly disappointed tones. You are all going to get married and leave profession.
The degree will go to waste. A boy could have fed his family with this education. I was a coward that day. I wanted to stand up and tell him that he had no right to judge us. The subject of women dominating the medical colleges kept resurfacing again and again.
At other times, in hints bias: Perhaps these not-so-subtle jabs, and an uneasy feeling of something unsettlingly wrong with my society, made me switch from medicine to anthropology. When the time came to decide on a research area, not surprisingly, I picked women doctors in Pakistan.
When I started my work, I was almost instantaneously hit with a barrage of statistics, all equally dismal and disheartening. That is a number unmatched even in the US and the UK. What a neat little narrative! Shame on women doctors indeed! Nobody knows what percentage of women doctors are working. I tried to find out. No medical institution, college or university, tracks the career progression of Sarmad tariq wife sexual dysfunction graduates.
The PMDC does collect some data: They know when a doctor registers with them to practice, or enrolls in advanced specialisation programmes. Meet the heroic mothers who raise children with special needs. And this percentage has been rising almost steadily every year. So where does the misconception, that a majority of women doctors end up not working, originate?
It turns out, these statistics are just bad science. The number these movers and shakers like to cite is the aggregate percentage of women doctors in the current workforce. They forget that women doctors have only recently overtaken men in the medical profession.
The first time more women than men registered to practice with the PMDC was inafter centuries of male dominance which did not create any discomfort at all. This sure but gradual change will take some time to reflect in overall numbers, a process aptly called demographic inertia.
Even though that should put some dent in the argument of doctor brides, it is still not the whole truth. The high school enrollment
Sarmad tariq wife sexual dysfunction in Pakistan indicate that male students overwhelmingly opted for Sarmad tariq wife sexual dysfunction tracks. And it is not difficult to see why. Sarmad, a medical officer in a public hospital, explained the phenomenon to me: Nobody hires a simple doctor, you have to be a specialist.
During specialisation, you are lucky if you get paid Rs 70, per month. That is not enough to support your family. An engineer, fresh out of university, earns ten times more than that.
And the coveted men doctors, where are they, you ask?
They leave Pakistan to work where work is good. According to a studyin Aga Khan University, out of 1, graduates in left Pakistan after graduation.
Only a few ever returned. Pakistan is the third-largest exporter of health personnel to developed countries. Most of these doctors go on visa programmes that require these doctors to work in under-served, rural areas.
Make no mistake, the consequences of attrition of doctors are heart shattering. Pakistan has one of the lowest doctor-to-patient ratio in the world, and except Afghanistan the highest maternal mortality rate in the region. One in 89 women in Pakistan dies of pregnancy- and childbirth-related complications. It seems Pakistani women end up paying the price, whether they are doctors or patients. I think it is a convenient story that people like to tell because it allows them to remain oblivious to the harsher truths about the status of the medical profession in Pakistan.
It allows them to ignore that medical education in Pakistan has scarcely changed in the past century. Also, the fact that an eight-hour work day a norm for medical workers everywhere else in the world is still an unachievable utopia in Pakistan, is cast aside.
It lets our training institutions pride themselves on their gruelling work schedules and load, and our surgical departments still carry on the tradition of ward weeks for young trainees. We like retelling this narrative because it allows us to feign ignorance to the fact that only teaching hospitals are by law to provide day-care centres to Sarmad tariq wife sexual dysfunction employees.
These are barely functioning, threadbare facilities which operate only during office hours for kids of school-going age. We never seem to want to talk about that sacred cow: Our pride and our joy, our traditional family system and our values, which have allowed men to escape any responsibility towards their parents and their children.
It is this system which shifts burden of care to next generation of younger women while men are only expected to bring in the money and pay the bills.
Giving it all up for family, quietly, and happily. We do not want to acknowledge that Pakistani women can have ambitions other than getting married, having children, and squabbling with their saas.
We want to remain blissfully unaware of the struggle a doctor endures every day, at home and at work, till she gives up, exhausted, and demoralised. We also do not know the tears and restless nights these women spend, trying to make their career and their families work, in a society that has been stuck in an anachronistic time loop.
Because in the end, when Pakistani men left for greener pastures, it is the women who stayed home and worked. Are you engaged in the medical profession? Share your experiences of working in the health sector with us at blog dawn. The views "Sarmad tariq wife sexual dysfunction" by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.
The message is clear. This is a false picture based entirely on one measure: PMDC registrations each year. The writer should have known that PMDC registrations are done by most of the female doctors even by those not planning to practice as it doesnt require any additional certification.
What the writer should have compared was the actual number of female doctors in the workforce which would have portrayed an entirely different picture. A whole article based on a flawed statistic. Better research was expected by someone who holds a PhD. I was looking for some quality research and hypothesis but the analysis seems biased.
Just to prove that Women are doing better than men doesn't hide the fact that it is a complex in minds of a women. A women is who is enemy of a women.