Where is Gender? A Missing Variable in Scientific Research

TítuloWhere is Gender? A Missing Variable in Scientific Research
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsJordão, C, Diogo, S, Carvalho, T
Conference Name15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Date Published8-9 March, 2021
PublisherIATED Academy
Conference LocationOnline Conference
ISBN Number978-84-09-27666-0
Palavras-chaveeuropean research area, gender dimension, Higher Education Institutions, Portugal, research

Gender Equality in science and research has become increasingly relevant within the European Union (EU) and within the European Research Area (ERA). In recent years, significant efforts have been made to achieve the three objectives set by the ERA on gender equality: increasing gender balance in research teams, increasing gender balance in decision-making, and strengthening the gender dimension in research. The work that has been performed at EU level and across ERA countries has brought some improvements, but the objective of strengthening the gender dimension in research has received little attention in several countries and, overall, the number of publications that incorporate the gender dimension remains low (EC 2019). In some countries, such as Portugal, gender in/equality continues to be seen (and handled) as an issue of (under)representation of women in research; the gender dimension in research seems thus to be sidelined. This work, carried out as part of an international H2020 funded research project (CHANGE – CHalleNging Gender (In)Equality in science and research), seeks to bring this issue to the center of the debate. Through a comparative perspective, this study aims to explore, characterise and analyse, how a Portuguese university (University of Aveiro – UA) has been involving the gender perspective in their research outputs in the last decades. In order to achieve the purpose of the research, the annual percentage of SCOPUS publications incorporating a gender perspective in the UA (i.e. publications which have gender, women or sex in the title, abstract or keywords) is determined and its evolution along the last decades analysed. The analysis reveals that in each year analysed, the percentage of UA SCOPUS publications with a gender focus is always below 3.5%. The first UA publication that meets the requirements of our SCOPUS database search appeared in the year 2000 and – as with most Portuguese public HEIs analysed in the framework of this study – progress in recent years has been slow and oscillate between advancements and setbacks. Between 2000 and 2019 the percentage of UA SCOPUS publications incorporating the gender dimension increased only 1.91 percentage points. Taking that Gender Equality is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, universities and academics need to reflect on the need to increase the integration of the gender perspective in research.


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