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National Association of Women Pharmacists names Naina Chotai president

Naina Chotai, NAWP’s 48th president, will "work tirelessly to raise the profile of women pharmacists"
Naina Chotai, NAWP’s 48th president, will "work tirelessly to raise the profile of women pharmacists"

The National Association of Women Pharmacists (NAWP) has elected Naina Chotai as its 48th president.

Ms Chotai is a community and locum pharmacist who also runs a consultancy offering professional support to owners of independent pharmacies in London and the south east.

As part of her remit as NAWP president, Ms Chotai will chair its meetings and act as a “key spokesperson” for the network, which became part of the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) in January this year.

Ms Chotai, who succeeds outgoing president Anita White in the role, will serve on the PDA's Equality Council "alongside the chairs of the other PDA equality networks”, the union said when announcing her appointment last week (August 20).

Ms Chotai was elected alongside community pharmacist Daniela Rusalim, who was appointed NAWP vice president, and locum pharmacist Eilidh Milliken, NAWP’s new honorary secretary.

Commenting on her appointment, Ms Chotai said that her team will “work to advance gender equality and to empower women pharmacists to realise their full potential”.

“As the president of the NAWP network, I will work tirelessly to raise the profile of women pharmacists, by being educationally, socially and politically active,” she added.

What do you think of the NAWP work?

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Congratulations to Ms Chotai. I think that it's very important that women have an organisation promoting their views on pharmacy issues, as sadly there is a great deal of misogyny, inequality and so on that women need to have their perspective and views respected and listenend to improve matters. We can't depend on men putting themselves in a position to give a females dimension on matters that impact them, whether its lone working, traveling alone at night on public transport after work, pay disparity, caring responsibilities. That said we should want the best for all women and men, and marginalied members of the pharmacy team.

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

I agree with you that there is a great deal of misogyny around, just, in my experience, not in pharmacy. Women very much rule the roost in pharmacy - by what majority are the staff in community pharmacy female? Quite large  I would imagine. I've had to put up with, for my entire working life, anti-male comments. However, I'm big enough and ugly enough (more than ugly enough... ) to file it under bants and not take offence.

Must admit, though, your point about lone working, late night travel etc is very valid and hadn't occurred to me. I'm six feet tall, about sixteen stone and look like a thug so I have no worries on that score, but of course, your little slip of a thing newbie (I've seen pharmacists that look like year seven kids!) could definitely have problems. If I was female, I would be VERY nervous walking through somewhere like the centre of Spalding, especially on a dark night. I'm sure anyone who lives or works there will understand why. 

Andrew Jukes, Locum pharmacist

If you want a mens equivalent perhaps start one!.... A lot of such groups start by someone putting them selves forward, aggregating others and then operating a group with a core set of values.

In respect of Naina I have had the pleasure of working with her in various groups of the PDA. She is currently on the South East PDAU committee and she I'm sure will bring a lot to this role....

Paul Day, Senior Management

Since launching 115 years ago, membership of NAWP is not, and never has been, restricted to women pharmacists. All members of the profession, regardless of their own characteristics, can be concerned about inequality and work towards greater equality whether or not the current environment negatively impacts upon them personally. This inclusive approach is echoed by the newer PDA equality networks too: LGBT, BAME and Ability.

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

May I ask then, why is is called the National Association of Women Pharmacists? Should it not just be the National Association of Pharmacists if it is so inclusive?

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

I'm yet to meet a female that has been treated worse than a man. I as a man am discriminated against all the time from all angles: colour, religion, sex etc etc 

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Goes the same for me. We blokes are very much seen as the bad guys nowadays. The middle aged, white, heterosexual, English male is probably the most despised, unrepresented demographic there is. Guess what I am......?

(Freelance - stop making me agree with you!! It was so much more fun when we bickered like a pair of teenagers!!)

Rita Pharm, Administration & Support

NAWP only represents womens interests. If you don't like it, its time to find another union.

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

I'm not in a union Rita, administrator support!

Men should have a union that represents "their interest", only fair?? 

Rita Pharm, Administration & Support

Fair enough but PDA + NAWP are not going to do that

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

So if we were to start a National Association of Men Pharmacists you'd be ok with that? Somehow I don't think it would go down well. I'm assuming I couldn't join the NAWP because I'm a man, correct? If so, that is sexism, pure and simple. There is no reason why a man cannot help with issues affecting women, only the preconceptions held. I believe the only situation where a man cannot empathise with a woman is childbirth and vice versa with a kick in the crown jewels.

Alasdair Morrison, Product Development

Found it!

Four people like it, so it must be doing well. [Sorry, this was meant to be a reply to Freelance Chemist's post below.]

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

Don't be daft!

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

Why do men not have their own association?

If it's good for the goose is surly good for the gander??!!

I thought women want equality, how is this that when they want their own associations???

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Freelance - I'm sorry to point this out to you and you'll probably have a pop at me over it but there is also an Association of Black Pharmacists, which I assume I couldn't join either. Equality should mean equality. As far as I can see the only body that represents ALL pharmacists equally is the PDA.

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