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Women in neurosurgery (WIN): Barriers to progress, world WIN directory and the way forward

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Neurosurgery, Apollo KH Hospital, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Neurosurgery, Medical School University Algiers, 16022 Algiers, Algeria
4 Department of Neurosurgery, Cheikh Zaid International University Hospital, Rabat, Morocco
5 CENEPE, Pediatric Neurosurgical Center, São Paulo, Brazil
6 Department of Neurosurgery, Rwanda Military Hospital, Kigali, Rwanda
7 Department of Neurosurgery, Hospital Sungai Buloh, Selangor, Malaysia
8 Department of Neurosurgery, Fujita Health University Bantane Hospital, Nagoya, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Dhivya Palanisamy,
Department of Neurosurgery, Apollo KH Hospital, Melvisharam, Vellore - 632 055, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajns.AJNS_108_20

Women in Neurosurgery (WIN) have come a long way and are making inroads in every neurosurgical subspecialty. There has been a worldwide increase in the number of female neurosurgeons both in the training and practice. Although this is a welcome trend, gender equality at work in terms of opportunities, promotions, and pay scales are yet to be attained. This is more apparent in the developing and underdeveloped nations. Barriers for a female neurosurgeon exist in every phase before entering residency, during training, and at workplace. In the neurosurgical specialty, only a few women are in chief academic and leadership positions, and this situation needs to improve. WIN should be motivated to pursue fellowships, sub-specialty training, research, and academic activities. Furthermore, men should come forward to mentor women, only then the gender debates will disappear and true excellence in neurosurgery can be attained. This article reviews the issues that are relevant in the present era focusing on the barriers faced by female neurosurgeons in the developing and underdeveloped countries and the possible solutions to achieve gender equality in neurosurgery. The authors also present the data from the World WIN Directory collected as a part of Asian Congress of Neurological Surgeons-WINS project 2019. These numbers are expected to grow as the WIN progress and add value to the neurosurgical community at large.

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