Research agendas often fail to take the specific needs of women into account. Women represent half of the student population, but hold only 10% of the senior positions in academia and even less in the industry. Women face obstacles to their scientific work because of their gender, and as a result are under-represented in the sciences and in the decision-making bodies concerned with scientific issues.
If society as a whole is to better understand and accept the developments in science and technology, specific measures must be taken to address both the under-representation of women in science and the lack of attention paid to gender differences within research.
In 1999, the Commission launched an action plan on women and science, which set out a strategy to promote research by, for and about women, in cooperation with Member States and key actors.
New actions will be further underpinned by reinforcing measures that are already in place. The Helsinki Group on Women and Science will continue to provide the framework for pooling national policy experiences and exchanging good practice and will set out a comprehensive strategy for longer-term cooperation. The Gender Watch System will be stepped up to improve integration of the gender dimension within the Framework Programme and research policy in general.
In direct compliance with Commission policies, MUGEN is dedicated to raising and promoting gender equality issues, through integrating activities in its Joint Activities Programme (JPA). Through a designated “Gender Awareness Plan”, MUGEN is actively looking to educating all members of the Network on the “gender dimension of the research content” as well a s”the promotion ofr gender equality by encouraging women’s participation in research”.