LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
In 1979, a quota was set on female students entering the National University of Singapore medical school. It was costly to train medical students even with substantial government subsidy, and with fewer female doctors pursuing a career in medicine and many more choosing to practice the profession part time, the quota seemed a judicious way to utilize resources.
However, in 2003, as the number of female doctors who remained in practice rose along with demand for healthcare, the one-third cap was eventually lifted – thanks in large part to the Association of Women Doctors (Singapore) who staunchly backed the move. Today, the female student population in local medical schools has been rising steadily, and many of them are reportedly venturing into areas that were once considered the domain of their male counterparts.
Medicine is just one among many undertakings where women have been demonstrating authority. And what is interesting is that the list of top-caliber female professionals, entrepreneurs, lawmakers, etc. is growing not only with new additions but also with the recent discovery of past achiements of women that history has either neglected or wilfully concealed.
There remains a lot more to accomplish before women can recover their rightful place at home, at work, and in society. Conclusive studies indicate that gender equality is key to any society’s success and even survival. Denying half of the world’s talent pool opportunities in education, healthcare, employment and leadership is reducing productiveness, competitiveness and future-readiness to half.
As long as women aren’t making as much as men doing the exact same job, as long as women aren’t occupying positions of leadership where they can decide for themselves and other women, as long as they face barriers to education and healthcare for whatever reason, we still have a lot to do.
In this issue we are highlighting the important contributions of women in various fields – from nationbuilding to setting personal bests, and paving the way for everyone else’s advancement. We hope that their efforts and achievements continue to inspire us to action.