The Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA) is an international organization of women doctors. This association was founded in 1919 in New York. Our mission is to promote health for all throughout the world with particular interest in women, health and development.
I was inaugurated as the 29th President of MWIA in 2013 in Seoul, Korea. In my inauguration speech, I announced that my theme for the triennium would be “Prevention and elimination of domestic and sexual violence.”
Korea has always been known as a very peaceful country and we have had a stable settled society, despite a terrible war in 1950. There was very little mention of violence in the last 50 years until 2006. During these last 10 years, the atmosphere has completely changed. Koreans were surprised to hear of such acts of terrible domestic violence including homicides of parents and siblings. In my inauguration speech, I expressed a strong will to fight against domestic violence.
I was shocked to know that one in three women is the victim of domestic violence. It is unbelievable. There are regional differences, with South America having the highest prevalence. Last year in October, I visited Sao Paulo, Brazil, and gave the special lecture, ” How to eliminate domestic violence?”
In my opinion, as women physicians we have an important role in eliminating violence internationally as well as nationally and locally. Understanding cultural differences plays an important role in the fight against domestic violence.
MWIA developed this training module as collection of case studies which can be examples of different approaches.
I appreciate the efforts of our many members who dedicated so many hours in the preparation this module, and would particularly like to acknowledge Prof. Bettina Pfleiderer who chaired the MWIA Working Group on Violence.
Kyung Ah Park, Professor, M.D., Ph.D.
Immediate Past President, Medical Women’s International Association