This research intends to discover whether the concept of patriarchy is responsible for the under representation of women in senior positions of the health system; and so working towards the identification of further reasons behind this under representation. This shall be achieved by exploring the relationships between senior male doctors and female doctors within NSW and by looking, in depth, at the experiences of both female and male doctors of promotion within the NSW health system.
Patriarchy and the NSW health care system
In March 2004 the Department of Health acknowledged that only 20% of senior consultants were women, with this number lower in certain specialties. This is occurring even though there are more female entrants into medical schools than male; in 2002 60% of medical school entrants were female. Although the numbers of women holding senior positions within the health system have been steadily rising, women are still under represented after 20 years since the sex discrimination act was passed in 1984. The unequal representation in senior positions means that the health system may not be benefiting from the full talent available. This is not the only limitation of under representation. Decision making may also suffer; having a non representative panel of decision makers means that it is less likely that policies, plans and services will be the most appropriate.
Much research has been done into the under representation of women in dominant positions of employment (not just in health) and the effects of patriarchy on the status of women in the labour market; but patriarchy and the glass ceiling within the health system have not been thoroughly investigated using qualitative methodology. This research intends to discover whether and how patriarchy is an issue within the NSW health system in an attempt to highlight gender inequalities and so improve the status of women in the health system.
Discover whether patriarchy plays an influential role in the under representation of women in senior positions within the NSW health care system.
Discussion 'The anthropological term used to define the sociological condition where male members of a society tend to predominate in positions of power; with the more powerful the position, the more likely it is that a male will hold that position.' (Wikipedia 2006).
As suggested in the definition, patriarchy occurs in all types of society and is accepted in many as part of ...