CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol 2022; 43(01): 015-018
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1742657
Brief Communication

Discriminatory Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Women Physicians

Sabita Jiwnani
1   Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgical Oncology, Tata Memorial Centre, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
› Author Affiliations


The impact of gender and women's traditional roles in society has been particularly pronounced during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We conducted an online survey to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic responsibilities among Indian physicians to look for gender-based differences by collecting data regarding domestic work and childcare, changes in work patterns, and lack of domestic help during the pandemic and the resultant nationwide lockdown. Through this study, we reported the results of a nationwide survey and showed how gender gaps exist, even within highly qualified professionals such as physicians, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has widened this gap. Our study showed statistically higher contribution by women physicians as compared to men not only in the increased domestic work, but also when it came to childcare and education. More women than men were forced to take additional leave and quit their jobs due to the increased domestic responsibilities.

In addition to highlighting the difficulties faced by the physician community as a whole due to nonavailability of domestic help and childcare facilities, this survey demonstrated the intense challenges women physicians face as they try to navigate the work–life balance dilemma by providing care to their families as well as patients. Our study highlighted the need to re-examine the specific challenges faced by women physicians and identify means to support and empower them.

Publication History

Article published online:
15 February 2022

© 2022. Indian Society of Medical and Paediatric Oncology. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

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