A few weeks ago I noticed the announcement of a new conference: the WiM—the Women in Malaria conference. I thought "wow, that's quite something" and expected that it would be some sort of (follow up on the) Women in Vector Control Workshop that the Pan-African Mosquito Control Association (PAMCA) organised just prior to it's 2019 annual conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon. I was truly moved by what happened during that symposium. Experiences of gender-related discrimination, harassment, subordination and oppression of women in education and science. Shocking. During the conference it became clear that every single woman in the audience had experienced some kind of gender-related discrimination in her career, regardless of her age, nationality or geographical location.
And now I was curious about WiM. But when I looked it up I understood that WiM is a regular malaria conference but this time only women are invited as speakers. And I couldn't help but think what if someone would announce the MiM—the Men in Malaria conference where only men would be invited to speak... Do we need to segregate between female and male expertise combat malaria? Or do we need to listen to and argue with those with the best expertise, ideas, and feedback 'from the field' regardless their gender, race, religion or believe.
What is it that I am missing here?
Let me know what you think!