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Aifa, television studios where they talk about abortion: why are there never women?

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Aifa, television studios where they talk about abortion: why are there never women?

Bruno Vespa who invites only men to talk about abortion, the new all-male Aifa Board of Directors. Two coincidences or a clear tendency to want to exclude women? The professionals of Women For Oncology Italy espouse the second possibility and speak of the incomprehensible obstinacy of choosing only men and of offense to female healthcare and research professionals, which the Association is no longer willing to tolerate.

A scientific desire to exclude women

“At this point the doubt becomes legitimate: that there is a precise, almost scientific, desire to exclude women. Otherwise it cannot be explained. This time we will turn to the Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella”. Rossana Berardi, President of Women for Oncology Italy, comments on yet another all-male decision-making table: the Board of Directors of the Aifa-Italian Medicines Agency, which met for the first time in recent days following the appointment of its new president. And in which, as always, the conspicuous absence of female members stands out. “We have now lost count of all the times in which only men have been called to be part of technical tables of significant importance – continues Berardi – The obstinacy with which we continue to do so, ignoring the large female component on which the profession is based at this point the world of research suggests that there really is a scientific, almost provocative, will to continue along this path: we will mobilize the highest officials of the State to take institutional note of this an anachronistic practice that is no longer tolerable”.

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There is no shortage of precedents

There is no shortage of precedents: the most sensational one less than a year ago, with the establishment of the ministerial technical table for the review of the standards of local medicine, with its 18 members, all men. Only to then turn around, transforming it into a monster table of 76 members in order to bring female experts and scholars back ‘through the window’ alongside their male colleagues. “We don’t need buffer solutions – he continues Sunday Lorusso, vice-president of the W4O Italy Association – who are trying to remedy damage already done. We need to work first on ‘male’ decision-making mechanisms which, even statistically speaking, do not reflect the reality of the facts: the world of health is overwhelmingly made up of women and scientific research itself continues with the important contribution of female scientists. Is it possible that there will never be one suitable to fill these roles? The question is rhetorical, but the answers are not forthcoming: this is why we wrote to Giorgia Meloni, as Prime Minister and capable woman, and to the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella as guarantor of the institutions, to ask for a meeting on this issue. We are ready to mobilize in every location as Women For Oncology and we already have the support of many other associations ready to join us in this journey.”

Female brain drain

A path that becomes extremely urgent, also to avoid the continuous ‘female’ brain drain that is depriving our country of top-level professionals. The past-president of W4O Italy knows something about it, Marina Chiara Garassinowho has been in the USA for years to be able to carry out her work at levels that Italy has not been able to guarantee: “Unfortunately in Italy we do not work coherently for gender equality in our sector – comments Garassino, now Professor at the University of Chicago – and many professionals, including me, have left the country above all for this reason. Those who are committed to equality obtain results in this sense, I think of what happens in American universities, where the meritocratic system is real Association is precisely to react to this problem to pave the way for other colleagues, especially the younger ones who look to us as models despite the difficulties that we ourselves have had to face in pursuing our careers”.

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