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The gender perspective of science, technology and innovation (STI) in dialogue with third countries


The project will investigate how gender equality matters are taken into consideration at different levels of international cooperation in the area of science, technology and innovation between the EU and a selected set of third countries, along three objectives, i.e. equality in scientific careers, gender balance in decision making, and the integration of the gender dimension in R&I content. The project will build on the work done by the ERA-related groups in charge of gender equality and international cooperation as well as EU funded projects. It will provide a mapping and a subsequent analysis of how gender equality is taken into account and promoted:

  1. in the formal bilateral and multilateral agreements in the STI area between the EU Member States and Associated Countries on one side and the selected third countries on the other side;

  2. in the bilateral and multilateral STI implementation activities, including access to grants and the evaluation process;

  3. in the dissemination and promotion of the results of international dialogues and cooperation.

The project will also formulate recommendations to enhance the integration of gender equality objectives at the various stages mentioned above.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of the order of EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

In its Conclusions of 1 December 2015 on advancing gender equality in the European Research Area, the Council invited the Commission and the Member States to consider including, among others, a gender perspective in dialogues with third countries in the area of science, technology and innovation (STI).

The EU Member States and many countries outside the European Union are facing similar challenges in terms of gender equality in STI: gender-related biases are leading to horizontal (disparities among different scientific disciplines) and vertical (low levels of women representation on top positions) segregation. The perception of and support for gender equality varies significantly across cultures. Cultural and institutional barriers turn women away from STI and affect their careers. Also the take up of the gender dimension in research and innovation content[[Taking into account the biological characteristics and cultural / social features of women and men in doing research, innovating and developing technologies]] is still limited. The EU has developed a strategy for gender equality along three objectives relating to equality in careers, gender balance in decision-making and the integration of the gender dimension in R&I content.

The Commission has pledged reinforced cooperation with third countries under one of the three goals set by the current Commissioner, i.e. Open to the World. There is increasing interest from third countries to cooperate with the EU in the field of STI and encourage the mobility of researchers. It is therefore important to develop common solutions for common challenges regarding gender inequalities in STI.

Improve awareness and implementation of gender equality objectives in the bilateral and multilateral activities between EU Member States and third countries in the area of STI. Contribute to removing potential barriers to the equal treatment of women and men scientists and to integrate the gender dimension in R&I content in international dialogues and cooperation.