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Science with gender equality

Science with gender equality

Increased participation of women, with their knowledge, leadership and talent in sciences, is essential to society.

Photo: Pixabay

In the history of civilization, women have overcome many restrictions, humiliations and obstacles to the full recognition of their vital rights. Thanks to this centuries-old struggle, they have demolished most of the nefarious walls that prevented them from accessing opportunities and social spaces such as education, political participation as voters and candidates, and property rights over property, inheritance, and labor equality that would allow them to occupy. , under the same conditions, positions reserved for men, among others.

Currently, in the world of science, notable gender inequality continues to exist despite the increasing integration of women into academic spaces. Proof of this is that they make up barely 30% of all researchers in the world and occupy 20% of leadership positions in organizations devoted to science. In terms of scientific recognition, they have won barely 4% of the Nobel Prizes in Science.

UNESCO and UN Women highlighted other important global data on the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11 February), such as “Several studies indicate that women represent only 22% of professionals working in the AI ​​sector and 28 % of engineering graduates. Also, when they start their own companies, women receive less than 3% of total venture capital invested, compared to men.”

For Colombia, where women represent 38% of researchers (as of 2019), according to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, it is appropriate to highlight the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (Conpes No. 3582), Ondas Ministerial Programs, Young Researchers and High Level Training, among others Other things, to achieve greater inclusion and equality in scientific spaces.

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In addition to government policies and programs, it is appropriate that universities and the business sector promote greater participation of women in scientific research and innovation. In the special case of Simon Bolivar University, whose missionary references give priority to inclusion, the high value of scholars is recognized. For this reason, we are proud that out of the total 305 researchers ranked by Minciencias, 50.16% are women and lead 71.4% of the Ministry’s scientific research, technological development and innovation centers.

In the framework of the aforementioned celebration, it was exciting to read the countless reports in the media dedicated to outstanding women in science throughout history and their transcendental contributions to humanity, and of course knowledge, with initiatives in social networks such as #SpamDeCientíficas, of the many young women with significant achievements and a deep love for science . To continue these developments, it is necessary to overcome harmful gender stereotypes that are so deeply rooted in society that they have made some areas of knowledge male.

The greater participation of women, with their knowledge, leadership and talent in science, is essential to society, especially when we are faced with social, technological, environmental and quality of life challenges, the solutions of which are framed in the ability to generate knowledge through science, technology and innovation.

* Dean of Simon Bolivar University.