Gender equity in the hospital

The emergence of #metoo over the past five years, reflecting the expression of the suffering of women in a historically patriarchal society, coincided with the movement in defense of the public hospital, an expression of another form of suffering, that of caregivers in an environment where the race for profitability has deprived care of the meaning they wanted to give it. At first glance, one might think that there is no link between the demands conveyed by #metoo and the injunctions brought by the groups who are fighting for a reform of the hospital.

In reality, a very large part of the suffering experienced in the hospital is carried by the women who undergo there an organization thought historically by the men, in which is exerted, at each level of the hospital universe, a violence which sends back the patients. women on the condition that a culturally gendered society has automatically assigned them.

An essentially gendered approach to health

When we take the time to look back on the construction of health policies since the birth of Social Security, we see that they have been essentially the work of men (successive presidents, ministers of health, Directors General of Health ), since women only had temporary positions and secondary roles, under the control of hierarchical superiors (prime ministers, etc.) who were responsible for the final arbitrations. The management of hospitals, centers and services are essentially male in their design and governance. To women (nursing assistants, nurses) is left most of the “care”, direct patient care.

→ READ. The “great forgotten” nurses of health reform

Echoing the situations of sexual violence that gave birth to #metoo, the hospital microcosm is fertile ground for situations of harassment, where the woman is sometimes reduced to being an object of desire before being a colleague or a collaborator with whom to work as equals. For the few women who escape this masculine atavism, the path to recognition is paved with humiliations and situations where the fight against self-censorship forces them to do much more than their male alter-egos for results. often less visible and durable.

However, many women work on each floor of the complex edifice that constitutes our health and social system. The testimony of their career within the institutions responsible for defining and applying our health policy would be rich in lessons on the limits from which the organization of care in France suffers.

→ CHRONICLE. How the living deceives the living

We should take advantage of this presidential election year to give substance to the proposals that would bring together women and men around a medico-social project based on gender equity, by being part of the global movement for political reform. health and social services demanded by health professionals.


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