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 Aileen Espina (Philippines)

email convenor


Co-Convenor or other office bearers

Immediate Past Chair: Prof Zorayda (Dada) Leopando (Philippines)

Dada was made a WONCA Fellow in 2007 - one of 28, of whom only three are women.

Dada held the position of WONCA Asia Pacific Regional Vice President (now called Regional President) from 1995 to 2001. When she completed her term, achievements included: there were three regional conferences held including family medicine education workshops and four conferences scheduled through 2006; a regional structure with a set of officers, functioning committees on quality assurance, research, education, classification; the ground work for the launch of the Asia Pacific Family Medicine Journal had been done with editors-in-chief, an editorial board and peer reviewers in place. The journal is now in its tenth year as the official scientific publication of WONCA Asia Pacific, is with Biomed Central and is Pubmed-listed; twinning was started and Asia Pacific has mechanisms developed for member organizations to assist new ones in family medicine enhancement; the nomination process for the Wes Fabb Oration, honoring Professor Wesley Fabb, WONCA CEO was approved.

She was Overall Chair of the WONCA Asia Pacific Regional Conference, which the PAFP hosted in Cebu, in February 2011. She was also the overall Chair for the Golden Anniversary Celebration of the PAFP held at the same conference.

Dada is currently one of the co-editors-in-chief of Asia Pacific Family Medicine Journal, a position she has held since 2001. She is also the Chair-Elect of the WONCA Working Party on Women in Family Medicine, after having been a member of the working party’s core executive, since 2004.

Why has Dada lasted for almost 20 years working for WONCA? It is the self- fulfillment, the friends she has met and kept though these years, and the opportunity to make a difference.

read full profile

Executive Members


Core executive

Chair-  Aileen Espina- Philippines

Immediate Past chair – Kate Anteyi, Nigeria

Regional support to the Chair – Jane Namatovu, Uganda

Link to WONCA Working Party On Rural Practice- Amanda Barnard

Steering committee members: Kate Anteyi, Dada Leopando, Aileen Espina, Amanda Barnard, Lucy Candib and Sameenah Shah.

Executive/Regional leads

Africa: Temitope Ilori (Nigeria) and Martha Makwero (Malawi)
Asia Pacific: Chandra Thuraisingham (Malaysia) and Nuril (Indonesia) 
East Mediterranean: Omneya El Sharif (Egypt) and Jinan Ustan (Lebanon )
Europe: Nil Tekin Europe (Turkey)
Iberoamerica Liliana del Castillo Arias, (Colombia) and Maria Eugenia Bresolin Pinto (Brazil)
North America: Lucy Candib (USA) , and Kavita Dharamraj (Caribbean) and Mimi Doohan (USA)
South Asia: Sameena Shah (Pakistan)

Young leads

  • Asia- Pacific: Emily Farrell
  • Africa: Funmi Daramola
  • Iberoamericana: Andreali Moron
  • North America: Noemi "Mimi" Doohan
  • Europe: Raquel Gomez Bravo

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 identify key issues of r women doctors working in family medicine in all Wonca member countries, including developed and developing countries, and rural and remote areas, and to seek solutions to common problems.
  • To review Wonca polices and procedures on representation, programs, training, research, management, leadership and support structure, an ensure that these polices are equitably, transparently and effectively implemented
  • To provide opportunities for international exchange of knowledge and expertise on women and family medicine at regional and international Wonca meetings, and through electronic means such as the WWPWFM listserv and website.
  • To reduce linguistic, cultural and economic barriers to women family physicians/GPs participating in Wonca initiatives
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of WWPWFM



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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