MWIA 29th International Congress Seoul, South Korea

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MWIA 29th International Congress Seoul, South KoreaNews and Events, July 31st to August 3rd 2013, Dr Helen Goodyear, Past President of MWF

Six MWF members attended: past presidents myself and Clarissa Fabre, MWIA joint national co-ordinators, Julie Rutter and Sue Overal, Amanda Owen and Elizabeth Youngs. The Korean organising committee had put an immense amount of effort into this event and this certainly paid off.

Opening keynote speeches featured advancing the global health agenda and the role of medical women. Fascinating and challenging talks were given on the environment, disaster and human health. Sessions looked at pregnancy and abortion, contraception practices amongst antenatal patients, sexual violence, disability, ageing, medical professionalism and many more. Both Clarissa and I presented in the 'Life as a Medical Woman session' (family friendly policies in NHS Trusts and newly qualified doctors wellbeing respectively). In Asian and African countries, female doctors have little time off after childbirth and flexible working/training is not established. Talks to take note of were on stress management and the meaning of rest for women doctors. In addition to the Scientific sessions there were Posters and E Posters.

News and Events MWIAThe 3 General Assemblies were lively with a closely fought Presidential election (2016-19), requiring a second vote won by Dr Bettina Pfleiderer. Resolutions were passed on surrogacy, female genital cosmetic surgery, education for women and girls, HPV vaccination promotion, maternal mortality, human trafficking, prenatal screening and protection for sex workers. Dr Kung Au Park, President (2013-16) and the new executive were installed, including myself as Northern-European Vice President.

[MWIA executive 2013- 2016. Front row (left to right) Shelley Ross, secretary general, Bettina Pfleiderer (President elect), Kyung Ah Park, President and Afua Hesse immediate Past President. Back row, Vice Presidents of the various regions]

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the congress is networking with doctors from many different countries; Nigeria had over 160 female clinicians present alone! The social programme was superb. The highlight of which was a "quartet" of 13 male surgeons who provided one of the more surreal moments of the whole conference when they sang "There is nothing like a Dame" from South Pacific, in Korean!

We do hope that you will join us for the 30th Congress in Austria in 2016.


Medical Women's Federation
Tavistock House North,
Tavistock Square, London,
Tel: 020 7387 7765

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