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    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | March 4th, 2018


    I remember taking my children to the Ohio State Fair when they were very young.  On one occasion, there was an ‘Eighteen wheeler’ and the owner would allow the children to get on the driver’s seat and pretend they were driving. When it was my daughter’s turn, she elected to sit on the passenger side and have her brother sit on the driver’s seat. I asked her why and she said “boys are supposed to drive trucks”.  I lifted her and put her on the driver’s seat and told her that “you can drive this truck whether you are a girl or a boy; a girl can do anything that a boy can do.” She was about four years old at the time. I am not sure how and why she had that idea in her head, but I am glad I was able to knock that idea out of her head.  I am proud to say that young girl is now a woman studying Engineering in the University.

    Who knows what would have happened if I did not question her. March 8, 2018 is International Women’s Day and it a reminder that any idea that is not gender inclusive, needs to be knocked out. This is the day that all women, regardless of their differences come together to promote gender parity. We are one for women.  This year’s theme is #PressforProgress. There is a strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

    This year you are asked to choose your action – I will #PressforProgress and:

    • Maintain a gender parity mindset – question any lack of women’s participation, identify alternatives that are more inclusive, nominate women for opportunities, always include and support women, and think “50/50” as a goal.
    • Challenge stereotypes and bias – question assumptions about women, challenge statements that limit women, always use inclusive language, work to remove barriers to women’s progress, and buy from retailers who position women in positive ways.
    • Forge positive visibility of women –identify ways to make women more visible, extend opportunities to women first, assume women want the opportunities until declined, select women as spokespeople and leaders, and support visible women.
    • Influence others’ beliefs/action – supportively call-out inappropriate behavior, campaign for equality in meaningful ways, lead by example via inclusive actions, be a role model for equality, and actively contribute to changing the status quo.
    • Celebrate women’s achievements – believe achievement comes in many forms, value women’s individual and collective success, ensure credit is given for women’s contributions, celebrate women role models and their journeys, and support awards showcasing women’s success.

    All of these actions are necessary for us to accelerate gender parity. As I reflect on what happened with my daughter on that day at the Ohio State Fair, my pledge is that I will #PressforProgress and challenge stereotypes and bias. To learn more about making your pledge and learning more about this year’s International Women’s Day, please click here. Remember, March 8, 2018 is just the start date and we will continue beyond this day to press for progress.

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    Secure Your Copy of Sincerely, Your Gynecologist by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.

    With her trademark wit and straightforward communication, Dr. Osuagwu continues to dole out valuable medical advice using the letter form and addressing women’s health conditions and issues in a method that was praised for its innovative approach in her earlier award-winning book, Letters to My Sisters: Plain Truths and Straightforward Advice from a Gynecologist. In this book, each letter is paired with reference sources and statistics about the condition that is the subject of the letter.

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    Secure Your Copy of Letters to My Sisters by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.

    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.

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