Sunday, December 10

“Baby”, “pretty”… or how the nurses don’t want to be called

Nurses and health workers applaud during the pandemic. / CR

The General Nursing Council denounces the sexist situations that professionals still experience today because they are women

Even today, nurses face sexist comments or references such as “baby”, “girl”, “pretty” or “Miss” which it is time to put an end to. “Mentalities must be changed,” claims the vice president of the General Nursing Council (CGE), Pilar Fernández, that this 8M, coinciding with International Women’s Day, also commemorates the patron saint of the profession, Saint John of God. A double anniversary in which the CGE also wants to remember “the perpetual sexual stereotype linked to the profession” that, although to a lesser extent, is still seen at parties, costume shops, in advertising, in series, and in movies.

Women are the majority group in nursing (85%) and every day they experience machismo in their workplace, hearing sexist phrases for the mere fact of being women. For this reason, in a new visibility campaign, protected under the hashtag #Enfermeras8M, the CGE will launch this Tuesday messages of vindication that focus on ending the virus that machismo entails in our society.

Professionals are fed up with those sexy nurse costumes that do not help combat machismo

To make this machismo clear, the accent has been placed on three situations that these professionals usually experience, first in the mouth of a man and then in the mouth of a woman, wondering who it has actually happened to. Thus, they denounce that on many occasions patients, and even other professionals, do not take seriously what they do or question the decisions they make in their work environment, without forgetting the cases of sexual harassment that they still suffer.

“Some people continue to have an outdated concept of nurses as a profession subordinate to another formerly dominated by men or they have to put up with being addressed inappropriately,” explains Pilar Fernández.

The motto chosen by the General Nursing Council for this 8M. /


For the CGE, machismo is a virus that must be fought against. For this, it is necessary to educate society in general and patients in particular, from an early age, because even today nurses face sexist comments or references to their person as “girl” or “pretty”. «We have to change mentalities, starting from childhood, in adolescence, at school, at university, in all contexts we have to talk about gender equality in society in general and remind them that the work of nursing consists of caring for and curing the patient, not listening to the impertinence of rude patients”, emphasizes Fernández.

Glass roof

«Our profession requires high qualification, four years of academic training and two specialties, currently counting on a large number of nursing professionals with master’s and doctorate degrees; a university career that requires a demanding cut-off mark to access it; and some professionals who enjoy great prestige in the international arena”, adds the vice-president of the Council. Despite this, the presence of nurses in making major health decisions continues to be merely testimonial, the result of the glass ceiling that still means being a woman in many areas, “something that needs to change,” she points out.

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