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Clear case of sexism in the profession

Your front-page article 'Women GPs locked out of leading jobs' provides clear evidence of sexism.

When the Medical Women's Federation was founded in 1971, the members fought for women's right to enter into medical school.

This goal has been achieved. Now the federation has another goal to achieve - and must outline an action plan that will improve the representation on professional bodies.

We know the reasons why there is little representation and have known them for a long time: stress at work, the difficulty of juggling work and family, lack of control over the working environment, the old-boy network and the selection process being dominated by meetings in pubs.

We need a culture change. Why can't meetings be held during the morning or early afternoon?

The proportion of women working in general practice has doubled; the biggest increase has been in GP registrars. Encouraging these young GPs and giving them our full support should be a matter of great pride to these bodies.

If we can't do that then the profession will suffer, as will patient care. Women in medicine are highly intelligent, motivated and should be enabled to participate.

Current outdated attitudes mean that the NHS risks losing out on the valuable contributions women GPs can make.

Dr Anita Sharma, Oldham, Lancashire

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