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Anna Villarroya and Núria Pumar, members of the LERU Working Group on Gender: “The integration of sex and gender analysis into the research process remains quite unknown and it is not applied in a general way”


Considering sex and gender analysis in research and innovation means that scope, impact and usefulness of research studies will be appropriate for both men and women.

“Considering sex and gender analysis in research and innovation means that scope, impact and usefulness of research studies will be appropriate for both men and women”.

Approving this document at LERU universities means that every institution is committed to lead by example.

“Approving this document at LERU universities means that every institution is committed to lead by example”.

05/10/2015

Entrevistes

The document Gendered research and innovation, recently published by the League of European Research Universities (LERU), analyses the role that sex and gender differences play in research and innovation (RI) and discusses the need to take into account these differences with respect to the way research is designed, carried out and implemented. 

According to the document, gender analysis in research and innovation (GRI) is an unknown matter which is not integrated in an appropriate way in the design of many research studies, except in some biomedical research studies. In the document, the LERU makes twenty recommendations to include gender analysis in research and innovation. Anna Villarroya, professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business, and Núria Pumar, professor in the Faculty of Law, participated in the elaboration of the document. Both of them are members of the LERU Working Group on Gender and the Equality Committee of the University of Barcelona.

 

To what extent does present research take into account gender differences when designing studies?

Although the Science, Technology and Innovation Act 14/2011, the Strategy 2013-2020, and the Spanish National Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2013-2016 consider the need to include gender issues in every public research and development policy, its real practical application is still awaiting.

The European programme Horizon 2020 has meant an important advance as it demands grant applicants to describe how these issues are taken into account in the projects they submit. Besides integrating gender differences in research design and results analysis, the programme promotes gender balance in every phase of the research process, in both teams and expert panels.

Although the programme Horizon 2020 is a good promoter, there is much work to be made. The document elaborated by the LERU includes some recommendations addressed to the different agents included in the research project: universities, governments, funders and peer-reviewed journals.

 

What is the contribution of the University of Barcelona to the document?

The University of Barcelona has provided some examples that illustrate how sex and gender differences are taken into account in research processes developed at the institution. The University of Barcelona dedicates a section to GRI in its Horizon 2020 funding opportunities booklet. For example, the Faculty of Medicine includes topics such as gender violence in compulsory courses. Among the projects submitted to illustrate gender analysis, two were selected: first, the project Youth4Youth, funded by the Daphne III programme of the European Commission, which aims at preventing gender-based violence among teenagers; second, a project that analyses teaching staff ’s needs and beliefs concerning introducing the gender dimension in teaching practices.

 

What role do social sciences and humanities play in this matter?

Given that sex and gender analysis has been further studied in social sciences and humanities, researchers who centre their activity on these subject areas can provide valuable ideas to include gender analysis in multidisciplinary research teams. So, science, engineering and medicine researchers will profit multi-disciplinary approaches.

In this sense, in September 2013, LERU published another innovative document Social Sciences and Humanities essential fields for European research and in Horizon 2020. It provides examples that emphasize that social sciences and humanities must get involved in order to face the challenges brought by Horizon 2020.

 

What is the main conclusion of the study?

Approving this document at LERU universities means that every institution is committed to lead by example. Considering sex and gender analysis in research and innovation means that scope, impact and usefulness of research studies will be appropriate for both men and women. Research at LERU universities can become even more excellent as it will meet the greatest challenges of our societies: to improve social welfare and economic progress.

Nowadays, the integration of sex and gender analysis into the research process remains quite unknown and it is not applied in a general way. It is necessary to raise awareness and training is a key aspect. Gender analysis must be included in every phase of the research process and every agent involved in research must be committed to it.

In order to give an answer to these challenges, the Equality Committee of the University of Barcelona will set up different initiatives, for example it will organise some courses and training activities addressed to University’s research staff.

 

found for you by the Independence News Desk at
http://www.ub.edu/web/ub/en/menu_eines/noticies/2015/10/011.html


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