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New RCOG Women’s Voices Lead appointed

News 18 February 2020

Shaista Gohir OBE has been appointed as the next Women’s Voices Lead for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and will begin her three-year term in June 2020. 

The RCOG’s Women’s Voices Lead is an honorary lay role with responsibility for leading the College’s Women’s Voices Panel and influencing the College’s patient and public involvement agenda; ensuring women’s views and experiences of maternity and gynaecology services are heard.

Shaista has a wealth of experience, with an incredibly varied and rich background in campaigning and advocacy. Among Shaista‘s achievements is her work with the Muslim Women’s Network, a national charity that works to improve social justice and equality for Muslim women and girls. She is currently serving as co-chair of the organisation, which she has spent the last 15 years growing.  

Her work with the charity has included conducting research, operating a national helpline and delivering campaigns and policy influencing information.  

In recognition of all her work, Shaista was awarded with the MBE in 2008 and OBE in 2016.

Shaista will succeed Kate Brian, who has held the position since 2016, and will spend the next few months working with the College’s Patient & Public Involvement team and the many voices that engage with the RCOG. Shaista will begin the role formally in June, following Kate’s departure in May.  

Commenting on her appointment, Shaista Gohir, said:  

“I am so delighted to have been appointed as the next RCOG Women’s Voices Lead and can’t wait to get started in June.  
“The College’s commitment to ensuring women are at the centre of its work is fantastic. So too is the dedication of the Women’s Network and all those who bring their insight and experience to shape O&G education and training, guidance, quality improvement and policy. I’m excited to lead this amazing group and ensure all voices are heard within the College.  
“Too often women are forgotten in their own care. Health inequalities persist in the UK that must be addressed and eliminated, and I hope to bring my experience to further enhance the RCOG’s drive to achieve these objectives.”   
Dr Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: 

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Shaista whose wealth of knowledge and passion will undoubtedly continue to ensure women’s voices are at the heart of everything the College does.  
“Shaista’s role is key in making sure women are at the centre stage of discussions and decision making at the College, from the development of clinical guidelines, patient information, and training and education, to professional development, quality improvement and policy. We very much look forward to Shaista starting in June. 
“We would also like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Kate Brian, who has worked tirelessly and made tremendous achievements as the first Women’s Voices Lead. We wish her all the best in her work to continue to champion the very best in women’s health.”  

For media enquiries please contact the RCOG press office on 020 7772 6300/444 or email 
About the RCOG Women’s Network 
The Women’s Network is a strategic RCOG committee. There are 14 core lay members and four clinicians from across the UK on the Network which meets four times a year. Members represent the Network across a wide range of RCOG activities, ensuring the service user perspective is at the heart of RCOG discussions and decision making.  

The Women’s Network is supported by the broader Women's Voices Involvement Panel – an online group of over 700 O&G service users and their carers. The panel brings a breadth of health experiences and outcomes from the wider women’s health community to inform the Network’s involvement in College activities. 

Read here for more information about the RCOG Women’s Network and Women’s Voices panel.   

About the RCOG 
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is a medical charity that champions the provision of high quality women’s healthcare in the UK and beyond. It is dedicated to encouraging the study and advancing the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology. It does this through postgraduate medical education and training and the publication of clinical guidelines and reports on aspects of the specialty and service provision.