The Gender Dimension

Gender should not be an issue. But it is. It is because in people’s mind there is a separation between men and women. We all know or have heard of the book “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” by John Gray, where it is stated that men and women have fundamental psychological differences. But do they really? Gina Rippon is a British neurobiologist and she says that the differences between men’s brains and women’s brains are actually a construction of society 45762-200. On the other hand, school books teach us that in ancient times men were hunters and women were gatherers. However, recent studies found that reality could have been quite different: it seems that women were hunters too 45762-200.

Many misconceptions and stereotypes have led to a deep inequality between men and women. While changing people’s mind can be a challenging mission, promoting initiatives in that direction can help paving the way. Therefore, in line with the EU core value “Equality” 45762-200 and with the EU gender equality strategy 45762-200, the European Commission (EC) has included some evaluation criteria specifically related to this issue for EU project proposals. For example, in Horizon Europe:

  • Institutions must have a Gender Equality Plan (GEP)
  • Research has to ensure a gender balance (for example, interviews have to be carried out to the same number of women and men)
  • Boards, expert groups, evaluation committees, and research teams have to tend for a gender balance
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    Furthermore, specific funding will be allocated to projects directly addressing this issue.

    Gender Equality Plan (GEP)

    A GEP is not a statement of the institution declaring they will pursuit gender equality. It is a plan that is published, has dedicated resources (people and budget), collects data and monitors progress, and includes training. It is a commitment of the whole institution and it has to be tailored to its reality. Furthermore, the Plan should address these five thematic areas:

    1. Work-life balance and organisational culture.
    2. Gender balance in leadership and decision-making.
    3. Gender equality in recruitment and career progression.
    4. Integration of the gender dimension into research and teaching content.
    5. Measures against gender-based violence, including sexual harassment.

    For more detailed information:

  • Gender equality strategy | European Commission website 45762-200
  • EU Gender Action Plan III 45762-200
  • Gender equality in research and innovation | European Commission website 45762-200
  • Gender equality plans: Frequently asked questions 45762-200
  • Gender Equality in Academia and Research – GEAR tool 45762-200
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