What is CEHAT’s GME Project all about? A brief Introduction! by Cehat Team

Rituparna Dutta | 31 Jul 2015

In 2002, the World Health Organization (WHO) committed to promoting gender equality and equity in health by making gender considerations an integral part of “pre service training curricula” of health care practitioners (Department of Gender, 2006) . A consultative meeting was subsequently convened by WHO’s department of Gender, Women and Health in view of the centrality of integrating gender considerations into the curricula for health profes­sionals to ensure that these are addressed in health policies and programmes. The meeting reviewed various kinds of work being done across nations towards integrating gender in medical curricula. Case examples discussed included Universities like Monash, Australia, and Chulalungkorn,Thailand which have integrated gender in their undergraduate medical curricula. Work done in countries like Turkey, China or Philippines where issues of women’s health and partner violence have been taught to students in addition to their regular curriculum were also included, along with Makerere University in Uganda, which tried to integrate gender into their community based learning programme.

In the consensus arrived at by the consultation, it was recognized that gender is a significant determinant of health and that education of the health professionals could address the gender biases that influence the nature and quality of services in the health care system. It was recommended, therefore, that doctors and other health professionals be trained with a gender competent and human rights perspective so as to enable them to be advocates for gender equality and health equity. To this end, it was recommended that such training be offered, not only across disciplines, but also across a continuum from undergraduate education through various stages of their professional development.

The Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT)’s Gender in Medical Education (GME) project seeks to further this recommendation through integration of gender perspective in the disciplines of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (FMT), Medicine, Preventive and Social Medicine (PSM), Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ObG) and Psychiatry across government colleges in Maharashtra. The GME project in India was set in motion by Achuta Menon Centre for Health Science Studies (AMCHSS) and CEHAT through a National Consultation on Gender and Medical Education organized in January 2002. Based on recommendations of this National Consultation, AMCHSS decided to undertake a three year programme on gender mainstreaming in medical education. Initiatives undertaken in this project were: review of Indian medical textbooks, designing of training curricula, gender sensitisation workshops for medical educators and advocacy workshops for senior faculty.

The identification of capacity-building of medical educators as one of the most significant strategies towards gender mainstreaming in medical education has been an important outcome of the AMCHSS project. Therefore, as one of the initiatives under CEHAT’s GME project, medical educators in selected state medical colleges in Maharashtra were trained to incorporate a gender perspective in their teaching with a focus on issues of gender-based violence and discrimination[1]. The training took place in the form of five day long “Training of Trainers” workshops in the years 2014 and 2015. It was conducted by the project’s faculty and mentors, some of whom were involved with the AMCHSS project as trainers and participants.  At the end of the second week of training in 2015, the participants divided themselves into groups, according to the medical field of their expertise, and worked on building gender sensitive modules with guidance and assistance from their respective subject mentors.  These modules were developed specifically for the aforementioned subjects selected for the GME project and aimed towards sensitizing undergraduate medical students by emphasizing upon the gender dimension of health. 


[1] The participant colleges were: Government Medical College, Aurangabad, Government Medical College, Miraj, Government Medical College, Nagpur, Mahatma Gandhi Mission’s Medical College, Navi Mumbai, Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shivaji Shahu Maharaj Government Medical College, Kolhapur, Shri Bhausaheb Hire Government Medical College, Dhule and Swami Ramanand Teerth Government Medical College, Ambejogai


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