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Representation of Women in Science

Representation of Women in Science

In this article we will discuss Representation of Women in Science

In this article, we will discuss Representation of Women in Science. So, let’s get started.

Representation of Women in Science


Global Trends

  • The early part of the 20th century witnessed the acceptance of women scientists as members in many of the European academies.
  • A recent study done jointly by GenderInSITE (Gender in Science, Innovation, Technology and Engineering), the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and the International Science Council (ISC) shows that elected membership of women in senior academies increased marginally from 13% in 2015 to 16% in 2020.
  • In the case of young academies, although the position is better, there is under-representation as the average share is 42%.
  • Among the senior academies, the Academy of Sciences of Cuba leads with 33%.

India-Specific Stats

  • A survey conducted in 2020 showed that out of 1,044 members of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), only 89 are women, amounting to 9%. In 2015, it was worse with 6% women scientist members out of 864 members.
  • Similarly, the governing body of INSA had seven women out of 31 members in 2020, while there were no women members in 2015.
  • The three academies, the Indian National Science Academies (INSA), the Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS) and the National Academies (NAS) are striving to enhance the representation of women in science, including in professional bodies and related institutions.

Initiatives that have been Launched to Promote Women in Science

  • Vigyan Jyoti Programme was launched to address the underrepresentation of women in different fields of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in the country.
  • Initially, it was introduced at the school level wherein meritorious girl students of Class 9-12 were being encouraged to pursue higher education and career in the STEM field.
  • Recently, the programme was extended to 100 districts in its 2nd phase.
  • KIRAN scheme was launched in 2014-15 to provide opportunities for women scientists in moving up the academic and administrative ladder.
  • One of the programmes under the scheme — ‘Women Scientist Scheme’ — provides career opportunities to unemployed women scientists and technologists, especially those who had a break in their career.
  • The DST (Department of Science & Technology) has also additionally established Artificial Intelligence (AI) labs in women universities with the goal to foster AI innovations and to prepare skilled manpower for AI-based jobs in future.
  • Under the Indo-US Fellowship for Women in STEMM (WISTEMM) program, women scientists can work in research labs in the US.
  • The Consolidation of University Research for Innovation and Excellence in Women Universities (CURIE) programme aims at improving R&D infrastructure and establishing state-of-the-art research facilities in order to create excellence in S&T in women universities.
  • The Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI) program was launched to develop a comprehensive Charter and a framework for assessing Gender Equality in STEM.

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