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Uerj’s research shows gender inequality in science in Brazil |  Science and health

Uerj’s research shows gender inequality in science in Brazil | Science and health

There are still barriers for researchers in Brazil to overcome – Image: Getty Images

A survey conducted by the Interdisciplinary Affirmative Action Study Group (Gemaa), of the Institute of Social and Political Studies (Iesp), of Rio de Janeiro State University (Uerj), shows that there is a decrease in the number of slim With the advancement of jobs. According to the study, in most areas of knowledge, it is possible to identify the decline in group participation with progress in vocational training.

In only 34% of the fields women achieve justice Or they are the majority among graduate professors. On the other hand, there has been an overall, albeit slight, increase in the participation of women holding master’s degrees (2%), PhDs (3%) and teaching (5%) in various fields of knowledge in the country, from 2004 to 2020.

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The results of the survey were recently published on the online platform created by Gemaa. The study was based on data from the Coordination of Higher Education Personnel Improvement (Capes), with support from the Serrapilheira Institute.

Iesp postdoctoral researcher Marcia Rangel Candido explained that the difficulties women face have different origins.

“You even see discrimination that might be considered more benign, like judging the clothes women wear in their workplace, or when doing scientific research, or things like that. On the other hand, there’s more serious discrimination, like sexual and moral harassment.”

According to the Gemaa coordinator, Luiz Augusto Campos, there have been recent developments in the expansion of postgraduate courses in Brazil, which has been followed, albeit in a “very modest” way, by an interest in diversification.

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“This led to an increase, also modest, in the participation of women with PhDs in several regions of Brazil,” Campos assesses, in a note. “You have to remember that the path to entry into teaching after graduation is much narrower and more unfair to women than, say, a Ph.D.”

inequality by region

Other data noted in the survey refers to the relationship of Masters, Ph.D., and Teaching according to fields of knowledge. In this case, it was possible to verify that there is still significant gender inequality when comparing the group of women in the so-called “hard sciences”, such as physics, mathematics and engineering, which are considered “masculine”, and those considered “female” such as nutrition, nursing and work social.

However, as explained by Professor at the Institute of Social Sciences and Academic Coordinator of the Center for Studies of Inequality and Gender Relations (Nuderg) in Uerj Clara Araújo, there has also been an increase in the presence of women in these professions.

“Mathematics is a field in which female education has grown, but in both Masters and PhDs and in teaching, the difference between men and women is still very large. In medicine, there is a difference too, but we already have 45% of professors are women, while in 2004, they were 36 %. In engineering, graduate education was low in 2004, 18%, and in 2020 it increased to 23%. In biological sciences, we have close to 50% women,” he said, by noting.

“That is why it is necessary to encourage girls from an early age to be interested in the so-called ‘hard sciences’ and boys to engage in jobs considered feminine, because this will have an impact on the socialization of future generations,” added the professor.

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Barriers

Despite the progress, the Gemaa survey showed that the reduction of gender inequality in science was occurring slowly, suggesting that there were still barriers to be overcome by female researchers. One of the issues currently most discussed in academic circles is the issue of motherhood, which is seen as an obstacle to women entering or continuing postgraduate studies.

According to Clara Araujo, the number of children often decreases because women are unable to come to terms with an academic career, in addition to the fact that the number of hours that men engage in domestic activities is very small compared to the load left over from work. Women.

“The idea of ​​care is something that is still strongly sexualized. There are women who do not have children, but they are generally responsible for caring for the sick and the elderly, which also interferes with their academic career,” said the professor.