On March 8, 2023, the FEM Club (Female-Empowered Medicine Club) was launched at UMFST-UMCH. Fittingly for International Women’s Day, which is held every year on this date to raise awareness about issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights and violence and abuse against women, female members from the student body, campus management and the academic community celebrated the new student club.
To begin with, UMFST-UMCH fourth-year students Julika Tan and Marina Strähle gave a general introduction to the club’s future activities, which foresee lectures and other events. Julika and Marina subsequently interviewed two women with extraordinary life stories. The first to speak was Tamana Shah, who works as an assistant in the Human Resources Department of the Campus Management. She described how she and her family came to Germany as refugees from Afghanistan via a one-year stopover in Greece. As women in Afghanistan, she and her female family members could not lead a self-determined life, so they made a difficult decision to leave their home country. After this arduous journey, she has now arrived in a predominantly female work environment and enjoys the appreciation she receives there as a woman. Next, UMFST-UMCH student Tara Shahamat shared her story as a two-time blood cancer survivor. With an emotional account of her inner life at different points in her history with the disease, she noticeably touched the women present, who were already impressed and moved by Tamana’s descriptions. In addition, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine in English, Assoc. Prof. Simona Muresan, had her say. She made her motto “Dream Big” a reality by becoming Dean. In addition, she stressed the importance of focusing on oneself and one’s career as a woman. Following her speech, Julika and Marina noted that they were only able to realize their own dream of studying medicine due to the fact that the dean made her own come true.
After a few words from the female UMFST-UMCH faculty members in attendance, who shared their individual experiences as women in science – as well as their experiences as women in general – the official part of the event came to a close. Afterwards, many of those in attendance took the opportunity to socialize and celebrate exuberantly over a beverage of their choice in the UMCH Lounge. There was a strong sense of togetherness among the various groups of women, which was also reflected in the signatures and quotes collected on a specially created FEM Club poster.