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Women in Science

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

Science is primarily responsible for the development of a country and many women are at the base of this process, but how can they be at the top, leading?

Image by: PressFoto on Freepik.

The development of any country occurs when there is investment in the production of science and technology. As stated in the Science, Technology and Innovation Action Plan (2007-2010) “they are, in the contemporary world scenario, fundamental instruments for development, economic growth, employment and income generation and the democratization of opportunities”.

Although, according to IPEA, women make up about 54% of doctoral students in Brazil, Brazilian scientists are not as well represented at the highest levels of the academic career, they represent only 24% of recipients of a Brazilian government grant. (productivity grant) and are only 14% of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences.

We talked to Susy, professor of the tourism course at the State University of Amazonas (Universidade do Estado do Amazonas - UEA), about the importance of women's inclusion practices for gender equality.

“Science is part of our nature. We are always questioning ourselves. Curiosity moves us to create new knowledge.”

Susy starts our conversation by emphasizing that knowledge is ancestral, “many passed between generations, mainly among traditional peoples and indigenous communities”. Much of what we understand today is the effort of diverse ethnicities selecting and experiencing space millions of years ago. It is important to preserve this knowledge.

This access to knowledge can change the dynamics of social inequalities, permeating social structures, encouraging a new relationship with the environment. How society organized itself to face COVID-19, it is a case that made clear the importance of science, which is not far from everyday life. Gradually, its aggravation was reduced through science and technology, with the production of the vaccine, returning to boost countries.

“Without science, technology and innovation, how can a country develop? These attest to quality of life for people."

Brazil needs this search for answers, thinking about this scientific production, expanding the dialogue of knowledge with traditional peoples, quilombolas, riverside and extractive peoples. It is through this dialogue, through investment in Brazilian science, that we will be able to get out of the stagnation that the country is currently in. A continuous work, made by many hands.”

There was a significant advance regarding the insertion and participation of women in the scientific field, they were admitted to universities and started a research career. There are still issues that need attention and assertive policies: one is the concentration of women in certain areas. It must be encouraged, so that they can access, ascend and produce science.

The other issue is that to a certain extent they advance, however, “there is a hierarchy in the academy that is occupied by men, regardless of the area of ​​knowledge in which one works. Even if there is participation, it is not balanced.

“All production, all reception, public notices, resources, projects that encourage the participation of these women, can promote this ascension in their career.”

Image from: DCStudio on Freepik.

Susy quoted the International Science Council's study, “Gender Equality in Science: Inclusion and Participation of Women in Global Scientific Organizations” (29/09/21). In this study, it reports that the participation of women in more than 120 scientific organizations, ranked globally, is underrepresented. There is a disparity, although there has been an advance and an increase in the numbers of women producing science. "This report calls for a coalition of gender equality in global science to secure a transformative agenda for action."

It is important that there is a stimulus to action, that there is recognition of the work, the inclusion of women in science, that there are partnerships, so that this can happen. “Only the collaboration of the various social actors will allow for more gender equality in science.

"Ensuring that we recognize each other and that young scientists advance in the production of knowledge, that they are representatives and are recognized. A balance, a society with a greater amount of gender equity.”

Find out more about the International Science Council study by clicking here.


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