► European Commission’s 2012 policy Communication on the European Research Area (ERA) (COM(2012) 392):
established five key ERA areas to focus until 2014. The subject of the integration of gender analysis into research is covered as one of these main ERA priorities: “Gender Equality and Gender mainstreaming in research”. This also clearly confirms the EC’s commitment to pursue these efforts.
the expert group commissioned by the EC states that the gender dimension must be integrated in research and innovation and in higher education curricula in order to ensure research quality, long-term sustainability of research and innovation findings, and social robustness of research, as well as in avoiding economic losses. Training will be necessary for research staff and peers at RFOs to achieve this
the report stresses that the pace of change is too slow and there are still many disparities among countries. The persistence of gender bias in careers, of gender imbalance in decision-making roles, and the lack of a gender dimension in research programmes remain common challenges. There is a need for more joined efforts and systemic strategy aiming at longer-term institutional change in the European research system.1
► EC Framework Programmes for research funding have increasingly taken into account the importance of gender equality and IGAR:
Monitoring Progress Towards Gender Equality in the 6th Framework Programme: This 2008 report presented a synthesis of the key findings and recommendations of six studies carried out between 2004 and 2007 to monitor progress towards gender equality and gender relevance awareness during the 6th Framework Programme for Research and Technological development (FP6). Each study focused on different aspects of the research thematic priorities in FP6, monitoring how gender issues were taken into account and making recommendations for better integration in future. It shows the European Commission’s commitment to enhance scientific excellence by mainstreaming gender equality, giving continuity to the gender mainstreaming goals already established for FP6: to promote the participation of women scientists in Framework Programme activities (40% target) and to ensure that the gender dimension is addressed in European research wherever relevant. In establishing these two goals, FP6 made an important step towards gender equality in science.
FP7 Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) projects in relation to their impact on facilitating Gender in Research Contents:
- The ‘Gender in EU-funded Research’ (2009-2012) toolkit and training was funded by the European Commission. The project was coordinated by Yellow Window and aimed at:
- Raising awareness among various actors in the implementation of FP7;
- Providing practical guidance and suggestions on how to increase female participation in EU-funded research and integrate the gender/sex dimension in the content of the work;
- Strengthening participants’ advocacy and argumentation skills.
- The Gendered Innovations Project provided scientists and engineers with practical methods for sex and gender analysis, based on a set of case studies. To match the global reach of science and technology, methods of sex and gender analysis were developed through international collaborations. Gendered Innovations involved experts from across the U.S. and the EU 27 Member States. The project was initiated at Stanford University in July 2009. In January 2011, the European Commission set up an expert group, “Innovation through Gender,” aimed at developing the gender analysis in EU research and innovation. The US National Science Foundation later joined the EC in supporting the project, which released a report, at the European Parliament, in 2013.
- The current GENDER-NET project (2013-2016) is a pilot transnational research policy initiative, funded by the European Commission under the Science in Society (SiS) work programme of FP7, builds on previous efforts on this topic, and aims to complement these with more research policy-oriented findings and recommendations and tools.
Other FP7 efforts towards the integration of sex and gender analysis into research contents:
- The Meta-analysis of gender and science research (2008-2010) was a project aimed at collecting and analysing gender and science research produced in all European languages from 1980 to 2008, covering 27 EU Member States as well as the Associated States to the 7th Framework Programme (Norway, Iceland, Israel, Switzerland, Turkey, and Croatia). One of the outputs of the project was the topic report on the Gender Dimension in Research Content2. It reviews theoretical approaches and focuses on two areas: “Biomedical and Health research” and “Engineering and Technology”.
- The FP7-supported genSET project initiated in 2011 the first Gender Summit, an event dedicated to supporting and advancing excellence and effectiveness of research and innovation at all levels through the inclusion of gender. Several summits have followed since then, in Europe (2012, 2014 and 2015) and North America (2013), Africa (2015), and Asia (2015).
- The GenPORT project, a comprehensive web portal financed through the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme (FP7), 2012 SiS work programme, launched in 2013, will, before 2017, facilitate access to a wealth of research, statistical data, policy reports and practical resources on gender and science, technology and innovation.
- Several “structural change” projects funded under FP7-SiS since the 2010 work programme, and aimed at implementing gender equality plans in universities and research organisations, increasingly started including IGAR as a key component of these plans. For instance, the STAGES project (2012-2015) developed trainings for medical faculty and students of the University of Milan, while the TRIGGER project (2014-2017) and the EGERA project (2014-2017) bring together research and higher education institutions from several EU member states with the dual objective of achieving gender equality in research, and strengthening the gender dimension in research. Similarly, the GARCIA project (2014-2017), more focused on fighting gender inequalities at the early stages of scientific careers, is also aimed at integrating a gender perspective into research and teaching (both in STEM and in SSH disciplines).
- RRI Tools is a three year long project funded under the FP7 (2014-2016) to foster Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in Europe with a view to a harmonious and efficient relationship between science and European society. RRI is encompassing 6 fields relating to R&I: public engagement, formal and informal education to science, gender equality, ethics, the open access to scientific results and R&I governance itself. It also covers the integration of the gender analysis into R&I contents under its gender equality theme.
For more detailed information about the outputs of these projects see the Useful References section.
Article 16 of the Regualtion (EU) No 1291/2013 establishing Horizon 2020: where three objectives support the Commission’s activities on gender equality in Horizon 2020
ERA Communication of July 2012: Objectives on Gender Equality:
- Fostering gender balance in Horizon 2020 research teams, in order to address the gaps in the participation of women, at all levels, in the Framework Programme’s projects
- Ensuring gender balance in decision-making, in order to reach the Commission’s target of 40% of the under-represented sex in panels and groups (50% for Advisory Groups)
- Integrating gender/sex analysis in research and innovation (R&I) content, to help improve the scientific quality and societal relevance of the produced knowledge, technology and/or innovation.
Advisory group on Gender: created under the H2020 Programme. The goal of this group is to provide advice to the Commission services on the implementation of the gender dimension in research and innovation content as a cross-cutting issue in Horizon 2020 work programme. The group has released a document to use during the preparation of the Horizon 2020 work programmes. This paper is called “For a better integration of the gender dimension in Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016-2017” produced in March 2015. Details on how H2020 incorporates gender in the content of research programmes are further explained in chapter C of the present report.
Responsible research and innovation (RRI) approach: The EC describes RRI as a framework that consisted of six key action points; the second one of them is Gender Equality, reflecting the 3 main objectives of H2020: Fostering gender balance in research teams, Ensuring gender balance in decision-making and integrating the gender dimension in research and innovation (R&I) content. The ROME Declaration of November 2014 stresses the need for an RRI in which processes and outcomes meet the needs and values of society, fully respecting the gender equality, the gender dimension in research and the ethical aspects of research.
Indicators for promoting and monitoring Responsible Research and Innovation: This report of the Expert Group on Policy Indicators for Responsible Research and Innovation (June 2015) considers options for RRI indicators. It provides, among others, some indicators to monitor the width and breadth of penetration of gender perspectives in research contents.