One step forward, one step back?

Monday’s Canberra Times’ Times2 supplement featured a long profile of the director-general of the World Health Organisation (syndicated from The Guardian in the UK).

The article was a pleasure to read – fascinating to hear about Margaret Chan’s job, how she got where she did and the issues that the WHO is grappling with; swine flu the obvious current distraction, but also the effects of climate change on the world’s health.

Chan only started medical training to spend more time with her boyfriend – a little personal fact I loved considering the heights she has reached.

Do read the article, it’s just the kind of thing I was asking for when I said women need to continue to see successful (and human) women profiled in the mainstream media.

However I must say; given the topic and the subject of the piece it seemed utterly incongruous that the last paragraph should mention a conference she had recently presented at in Sharm-el-Sheikh (I am guessing it was at the recent Human Rights Council) to “address the spouses of world leaders on maternal death rates”. Seems a woman can run the WHO, but matters of such weight still need presenting to the wives of the men who really run things around here. Is it still necessary to rely on pillow talk from wives to get women’s issues on the political agenda??


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