Since its 1st International Congress in London in 1924, MWIA has organized 32 Congresses with advocacy and scientific content echoing contemporary problems of women and female medical professionals. As an example, in 1947, after the World War II, MWIA delegates gathered in Amsterdam discussed responsibilities of Medical Women in the Reconstruction of the World as Physicians, Social Workers and Internationalists. The 1978 Congress in Berlin deliberated on Mass Media and Medicine, while the 2010 MWIA Congress focused on the Challenges and Opportunities of Globalization in Medicine.
MWIA Congresses contributed substantially to networking among female physicians and establishment of national professional associations led by female doctors. As an example, a Nigerian doctor attending the 1974 Congress in Brazil was inspired and empowered to establish the 1st medical women’s association from black Africa in Nigeria in 1976. Even today, MWIA continues to grow and leaders of MWIA Associations in Brazil, Georgia, Thailand and South Korea are supporting their colleagues in different countries of Latin America, Europe, Asia and Western Pacific to establish national associations of female medical professionals.
MWIA’s General Assemblies adopted Resolutions that constituted coherent advocacy platforms for its members at national, regional and global levels. MWIA from its inception has had an important voice and influence on issues such as the work-life balance, maternity leave, career progression, fighting discrimination, mentoring of young medical doctors and students.
As early as in 1921 the MWIA Congress adopted a resolution on the “White slave traffic and cocaine and other drug trafficking” requesting the League of Nations to insist on stronger government control of illegal drugs sales. After a series of MWIA Resolutions on equal pay for female physicians, in 1969 MWIA celebrated when the Australian medical women doctors won equal pay with their male colleagues. National Associations in Africa and the Western Pacific based their advocacy work with Governments and non-state partners on the Gender Mainstreaming and Gender-Based Violence Resolutions adopted by MWIA General Assemblies in Seoul (1989) and Sydney (2001).