Women, The Family And Health
Dr. Dosne de Pasqualini
I come from a field which is not very well known to women. Men and women in the field enjoy relative equality. Women were excluded from both science and medicine in the 1900s. Lord Byron’s daughter had to publish her research anonymously. The first computer program in the US was named Anna in her honor. In Argentina, the first woman physician was Cecelia Grierson. [See pamphlet on pages 8 and 9] We recognized her contributions earlier today. After that time, the number of women in the field increased rapidly to 51% now in 1990s. In Pharmacy and Biochemistry, women had 83% of graduates. The field of Education has much higher proportions of women. Women are attaining Deanships and executive positions. My grandmother and mother did not have the vision of education. When my daughters entered medical school it was no longer unusual and for my granddaughter, it is usual.
Why so slow the gender equality for women? Here it is also changing rapidly. I have never felt discriminated against. Pay inequity is still an issue. Women in science have double priorities for career and home. Attitudes toward promotion are compromised by this extra burden. Women are more focused on their studies, but their work is more detailed and well done.
In my own life: I was born in France and educated in Canada. From a young age I knew I wanted to like my father. In the convent, I had to study sciences on my own. My university mentor helped me to go to Medical School because were no other funds.
Another mentor helped me work on stress issues and I received a doctorate. I came to Argentina from Canada to work during wartime. I was one of two women and did not know Spanish. A small stipend supported me. I also worked in Chile. I worked with a third mentor at Yale. Then I had to make a hard choice between Yale University and marriage. I accepted marriage and life in Argentina. Both my husband and I compromised. My career was never to be compromised. I ask myself if a granddaughter would make the same choice? I have been able to pursue my research. I have worked in Leukemia research for 43 years. Currently, half of our 50 research fellows are women. I am retired, but continue to work part-time. My family has continued to be a priority. I had twin girls and 3 boys in 5 years. Many children and grandchildren are physicians and scientists. There is no question to me that women can do both!
Last Modified: June 05, 2010