For an all-girl medical college to strengthen its policies through implementing regulations that cater to the needs of its female students, it is important to have a woman at the centre of power. And the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government seems to have realised this need when it passed a resolution in June, asking relevant authorities to appoint a female dean at the Khyber Girls Medical College. This college was inaugurated in 2014 as a sole institution in the province imparting education to only girls to provide female students an opportunity to achieve their potential in a free environment, as other medical colleges in K-P are co-ed. Currently, a male professor is serving as dean presently in HMC, of which KGMC is a constituent institute.
After months of deliberation, the government decided to amend the Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act of 2015 (MTIRA) and make way for the appointment of a female dean to enable the girls in the college to efficiently prove their capabilities in the medical profession, and achieve its objective of inclusive learning for girls. Although it has taken more than four months for the recommendation to an amendment to MTIRA to be made by Health Secretary Abid Majeed, which now awaits approval of the cabinet, the move is set in the right direction. In a conservative society, where women in K-P are hesitant to seek medical assistance from male health providers, the K-P medical college provides an opportunity for the province to have a vast number of female doctors specialising in different fields. It is, therefore, imperative for the cabinet to approve the amendment to MTIRA at the earliest. The amendment shall then wait to become a law after passage by the assembly that only a woman would be appointed as a dean of KGMC.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2017.
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