November 2011
News from the WPA Section on Women’s Mental Health - Report of October 2011

The members of the WPA Section on Women’s Mental Health have been actively promoting women’s mental health in their respective countries and internationally.

1) The Section was very active at the WPA World Congress of Psychiatry in Buenos Aires, September 2011.


  • RS31 - The Rights of Women Psychiatric patients / Donna Stewart (Canada)
  • RS31.1 - The Rights of Women Psychiatric Patients: A Review / Donna Stewart (Canada)
  • RS31.2 - The Declaration of Caracas, the Reform of Mental Health Services and the Rights of Women in Latin America / Marta B. Rondon (Peru)
  • RS31.3 - Rights Issues in Women in Pakistani Psychiatric Hospitals / Unaiza Niaz (Pakistan)
  • SS31 - Social Determinants of Health are Critical to Women's Mental Health (organized by the WPA Section on Women's Mental Health) / Unaiza Niaz (Pakistan) and Elena Levin (Argentina)
  • SS31.1 - The Impact of Access to Education on Women's Mental Health / Marta B. Rondon (Peru)
  • SS31.2 - Violence Against Women and Mental Health / Donna Stewart (Canada)
  • SS31.3 - Poverty, a Major Social Determinant in Women's Mental Health / Unaiza Niaz (Pakistan)

2) WPA Section on Women’s Mental Health activities in the recent past

4th World Congress on Women's Mental Health - March 2011 in Madrid.
Representation in International Association for Women’s Mental Health Congress, Madrid, March 2011

A. Symposia - The Rights of Women Psychiatric Patients
Facilitator: Donna Stewart, MD, FRCPC, Immediate Past President, IAWMH, University Professor, Chair of Women's Health, University Health Network and University of Toronto, Senior Scientist Toronto General Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • Prof. Marta B Rondon (Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Perú) spoke on The Declaration of Caracas: the Reform of Mental Health Services and the rights of women in Latin America.
  • Prof. Unaiza Niaz (The Psychiatric Clinic & Stress Research Center, Karachi, Pakistan) spoke on the Rights Issues in Women in Pakistani Psychiatric Hospitals 
  • Prof. Donna Stewart spoke on Rights of Women Psychiatric Patients.

B. Keynote presentations: Unaiza Niaz, Marta Rondon, Silvia Gaviria, Donna Stewart, Prabha S. Chandra, Helen Herrman, Nada L Stotland, Susan G. Kornstein

Journal Archives for Women’s Mental Health:

Furthermore, the special issue of our Journal Archives for Womens’ Mental Health is publishing the abstracts of the Madrid congress.

Five Continents Conference in Lyon, France, from the 19th to the 22nd of October 2011
“Psychosocial effects of globalization on mental health: toward an ecology of social links”

Women and Mental Health “Women and insecurity in a globalized world”,
Coordinators: Saïda Douki (Tunisia- France) and Donna Stewart (Canada)
Speakers: Unaïza Niaz (Pakistan) and Marta Rondon (Peru)

Upcoming events

5th World Congress on Women's Mental Health, 4-7 March 2013, Lima, Peru

4th International Congress of Medicine and Women's Mental Health
(IV Congreso Internacional de Medicina y Salud Mental del la Mujer)
12-14 April 2012 - Convention & Exposition Center, Medellin, Colombia
Presented by Universidad CES
Poor Representation of Women Psychiatrists in WPA

Our Section expressed concern about the low representation of women in the new WPA Executive Committee -EC (only Michelle Riba) and WPA Board (only Linda Gask for Northern Europe and Donna Stewart for Canada) despite the fact that most patients are women and most trainees in psychiatry in developed countries are now women. This augers poorly for the representativeness of WPA leadership and for the future of WPA!

Some of our members suggested ways to prevent this kind of practice:
1) a compulsory quota of women in the EC; this strategy has worked well for the leadership of several countries.
2) representation on the EC and Board in proportion to the number of women psychiatrists in Member Societies?

Office bearers elected at the Section meeting at the WPA World Congress, Buenos Aires

Chair: Prof. Unaiza Niaz (Pakistan) - re-elected
Co-chair: Dr. Josyan Madi-Skaff (Lebanon) - re-elected
Secretary: Prof. Nada Stotland - elected

Unfortunately, the Congress program did not print the schedule of Sections’ business meetings hence like other Sections of the WPA many members were unaware of the Section meeting and unable to attend.  We suggest that all Section meetings be printed and publicized and that women attendees be informed that they are welcome to attend the Section meeting.

Unaiza Niaz
Chair, WPA Section on Women’s Mental Health




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