WONCA Working Party: Women & Family Medicine

Women & Family Medicine

The WONCA Working Party on Women and Family Medicine (WWPWFM) was established at the 16th International Conference of WONCA in Durban, in 2001. The Working Party takes a leadership role in advocating for the concerns raised by women doctors and women’s health in family medicine/general practice. The Working Party was consolidated at the 17th WONCA World conference, in Orlando, in 2004. It has had successful preconference events at many meetings since, including the 18th WONCA World conference in Singapore, 2007, regional meetings, and at the WONCA World conference, in Cancun, in May 2010. WWPWFM  has workshops and events at WONCA regional meetings, and aims to have a policy development working meeting in between each triennial WONCA World conference.

WWPWFM is a policy initiator in gender equity. The Hamilton Equity Recommendations (HER statement) and 10 steps to gender equity, developed  at the mid triennial meeting held in Hamilton Canada, in 2006, were adopted by the WONCA World Council, in Singapore in 2007. Important by-laws changes, and the establishment of the WONCA Organisational Equity Committee, were adopted by the WONCA World Council, in Cancun in 2010.

Membership is open to all interested family doctors. Interested doctors are invited to contact your regional lead and attend the WWPWFM workshops at regional WONCA meetings (or click the link below).

Convenor / Chair

Dr Elizabeth Reji

Email Chair

Dr Elizabeth Reji is a Family Physician and the Chair: WONCA Working Party on Women and Family Medicine (WWPWFM). She has been a member of this group since 2009 and was the Lead: Africa region WWPWFM (2018-2021) and has mentored many African women into leadership. She  represents the WONCA women’s party in the WONCA Organisation Equity Committee and ensures that there is gender equity in WONCA policies and conferences. She represents Africa on the WONCA Finance committee, as the treasurer of WONCA Africa region since 2018, and monitors the financial aspect of the WONCA Africa region.  She has been on the WONCA Africa Executive Committee for the past 10 years. She is also a member of the WONCA Educational Committee, ensuring that the Family Medicine education follows a standardized policy throughout the globe. 

She is an Indian by origin but have pursued her medical career in South Africa  since 1996. After graduating from India and worked in rural parts of India for 3 years, decided to continue her practice in Africa. She has worked only in the public health sector within the rural and semi-urban areas. She has a master’s degree in Family Medicine (Pretoria University), Fellowship from the  College of  Family Medicine, South Africa & Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science Education (Witwatersrand University). She is a golden Key awardee and have completed some courses in project management, women leadership, financial management  and essentials of MBA. She has been a Clinical Head of Department: Family Medicine, she works as an administrator, manager, educator, clinician, and researcher. She has supervised registrars and students as part of her teaching field. She is also passionate about women’s health and community-oriented family practice. Determination, dedication, and perseverance has led to her achievements, despite many difficulties in life. God is her guidance.


Co-Convenor or other office bearers

Executive Members



  • Dr Elizabeth Reji 

Chair Elect

  • Dr Hina Jawaid
Past Chairs

  • Dr Noemi Mimi Doohan (USA)
  • Dr Aileen Espina (Philippines)
  • Dr Kate Anteyi (Nigeria)
  • Dr Amanda Barnard (Australia)
  • Prof Amanda Howe (UK)

Executive team

  • Chair: Elizabeth Reji)
  • Chair Elect: Hina Jawaid)
  • African Regional Lead: Mercy Wanjala)
  • Europe Regional Lead: Nina Monterio)
  • Iberoamericana Regional lead:  Amarantha Nieto Trujillo)
  • South Asia regional lead: Hina Jawaid)
  • Communication Lead: Humaira Khattak
  • Young doctor rep: Eloho Hambolu


  • Hina Jawaid: WWPWFM liaison officer to WHO
  • Nina Monterio: WWPWFM liaison officer to Family Violence Collaboration fund
  • Mercy Wanjala: WWPWFM liaison officer to Rural health
  • Elizabeth Reji: WWPWFM officer to OEC committee 
  • Lucy Candib and Humaira Khattak: Communication officers:  
  • Eloho Hambolu: WWPWFM Liaison officer to young doctor movement

Regional team information:

Communication Leads:

  • Africa: Patricia Idoko
  • Europe: Yusianmar Mariani
  • Iberoamericana: Dulce Paola Salinas Espinosa
  • South Asia: Humaira Khattak

Young Doctor representation:
  • Africa: Eloho Hambolu
  • Europe: Helena Alonso Valencia
  • Iberoamericana: Emylow Cardona Esquivel
  • South Asia: Gunjan Jha

Country leads:

Africa Region:

  • Ogadinma Mba- Nigeria
  • Wongani Kumwenda- Malawi
  • Agnes Katsidzira- Zimbabwe
  • Elizabeth Reji- South Africa

Asia Pacific region:

Geetha Venkatram-Australia

EMRO region:

Suha Hamshari -Palestine

North America:

Sabriquet Pinder-Butler and Paula Henry-Caribbean

Iberoamericana Region:

  • Claudia Marcela Guerrero Flores & Daniela Cortez - Bolivia
  • Yasmine Nascimento &Thanis Unicamp - Brazil 
  • Paola Carranza Cepeda & Mónica Álvarez Jaramillo- Colombia
  • Lilia Turquina González Cárdenas - Cuba 
  • Jenny Villa Fajardo- Ecuador 
  • Amarantha NIeto Trujillo, Dulce Paola Salinas Espinosa & Vladimir Reyes Salinas - México 
  • Maritza Morayma Ortíz Arica & Katherine Johanna Marlene Bardales Castro- Perú
  • Carolina Arbelo &Jacqueline Ponzo - Uruguay 

South Asia region:

  • Hina Jawaid -Pakistan
  • Vidhya Raghavendren - India
  • Dilini Ilapperuma Baranage - Sri Lanka
  • Rajani Giri – Nepal
  • Kinley Bhutti – Bhutan
  • Paramita Karim – Bangladesh

Europe region:

  • Nina Monteiro- Portugal
  • Elena Klusova-Sprain
  • Raquel Gomez Bravo- Luxembourg
  • Sarah Cumps- Belgium
  • Lihi Schwartz-Isreal
  • Yusiamar Mariani- UK.


Vision and Mission of WONCA Working Party on Women & Family Medicine

Vision: To promote the role of women family doctors working in Wonca to highlight their special contributions and reduce the barriers facing them, thereby enabling them to reach their full potential and enhance the contributions of family physicians/GPs around the world to clinical care, women’s health, education, research and leadership in family medicine.

Objectives of the WONCA Working Party on Women & Family Medicine

• To develop a communication platform within WWPWFM and Wonca
• To develop a regional team in all the WONCA regions
• To have activities on women’s health in all the regions
• To develop mentorship programs and support women to become leaders within the regions and WONCA.
• To develop teaching and research activities within the regions
• To have Pre-conferences and fireplace wisdom in all the regional and world conferences



WWPWFM has a workplan which is set at the preconference at each WONCA World meeting, and reviewed and updated at the mid triennial meeting. The WWPWFM supports for the next biennium 2016-2018 include both internal and external activities with regional and national focus on the needs of women; improving women’s health at primary care level while strengthening women family doctors’ interest and engagement at WONCA regions.



WWPWFM executive members meet with Professor Michael Kidd (WONCA President Elect) in Canberra, Australia, in 2012.

Photo of WWPWFM at Cebu, in 2011

Photo of WWPWFM with Prof Chris van Weel at Cancun, 2010

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