26 March 2019

WHO recognises research in Inderscience journal

Research into the changing position and posture of gender in the context of female-dominated occupations first published in Inderscience’s International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business (IJESB) has been cited in an important World Health Organization (WHO) report this month.

The WHO report was produced by the WHO Global Health Workforce Network’s Gender Equity Hub, (this is co-chaired by the WHO and Women in Global Health). It represents the latest gender and equity analysis of the health workforce. Collectively, the report has taken the first-ever look at the issues of leadership, decent work free from discrimination, harassment, the gender pay gap, and occupational segregation across the entire workforce.

The report is a clarion call for gender-transformative policies and measures to be instigated by policymakers and leaders. It suggests that if global targets such as universal health coverage are to be achieved then these policies and measures must be implemented urgently. “This report serves as an essential resource to all policy-makers, practitioners, researchers, educators and activists that must make it part of their core business to understand and effect change,” the WHO authors write.

The IJESB paper cited in the WHO report was authored by Nnamdi Madichie, currently Director of the Centre for Research & Enterprise at the Bloomsbury Institute in London. He offers a gender entrepreneurship slant on the evolving landscape of the “culinary underbelly”. The well-known occupations stereotypically associated with women more than men social work, nursing, and elementary education.

The research cited brings to the boil the notion of “chef life” and gender segregation in the world of the commercial kitchen. Traditionally it seems cooking has been the preserve of women, in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa. The modern culture of celebrity chefs and the prestige associated with glamorous restaurants has, however, enticed men to don the white apron more than ever before. It is as if men have adopted and adapted to this one last bastion of female career choice.

Author of the IJESB paper had this to say following the publication of the WHO report:
"My research article speaks to the conversation on misplaced gender stereotypes and the changing dynamics in the social workforce. It also highlights subtle elements of occupational segregation, safety in the workplace and the empathy of the collective in occupations. These issues, in addition to several others, have prompted both scholarly and policy intervention across unilateral, bilateral, and multilateral levels."

ReferencesMadichie, N.O. (2013) ‘Sex in the kitchen: changing gender roles in a female-dominated occupation’, Int. J. Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp.90–102.
Delivered by Women, Led by Men: A Gender and Equity Analysis of the Global Health and Social Workforce Human Resources for Health Observer‘ – Issue No. 24 (March 2019). ISBN: 978-92-4-151546-7

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