Ever since the Treaty of Rome, the European Union has consistently advocated gender equality as one of its core policies. Yet the monitoring and assessment studies of FP5 and FP6 have shown that despite the efforts to promote gender in research, women remain under-represented and the issue of gender is far from being systematically addressed in research projects.
What’s more, there are sound reasons for the research community to invest in a gender-sensitive research agenda. Investing in equal opportunities for men and women in research makes for teams that perform better and attracts top-level researchers. Similarly, investing in a gender-sensitive approach to the research content makes for higher quality and validity.
To further promote gender equality in research, the European Commission’s Research DG has decided to develop a gender toolkit and training activities. These will provide the research community with practical guidance on how to integrate gender into research. They will:
- help researchers to understand the “gender and science” issue and make them more sensitive towards the gender dimension of/in science;
- help researchers include the gender dimension throughout a research project;
- indicate how to design a more sensitive project;
- help to eliminate gender bias in research projects;
- enable researchers to write a more competitive proposal;
- show why it is important to create a gender-balanced research team;
- help make research results more relevant for society.