More women are making a career in science. A lot more needs to be done to ease their journeys

Source: The post is based on the article More women are making a career in science. A lot more needs to be done to ease their journeys published in The Indian Express on 23rd August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Social Justice – Women and related issues

Relevance: Women making careers in science.

News: The social sciences and humanities register a larger presence of women researchers. Now, the presence of women has increased appreciably in the sciences as well.

What does the data say?

The data released by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has confirmed a rise in the participation of women in scientific and technological fields over the last two decades.

The percentage of women researchers has increased from 13.9 in 2015 to 18.7 in 2018.

Women today occupy key research and leadership positions in institutions such as ISRO, DRDO, etc.

What are the factors behind the higher enrollment of women in science?

First, the efforts of the individual enterprise

Second, the effort of the government through grants on gender diversity and aligning the infrastructure for greater inclusivity.

Third, Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy 2020 focus on meeting its target of 30 percent women at a post-doctoral level by 2030. In pursuance of the policy, DST is implementing GATI, a grading system for institutes. Grading of an institute will be on the basis of enrollment and impetus to the careers of women in its ranks.

What are the challenges to further increase in the participation of women?

First, according to the 2018 Global Gender Gap report, India is ranked 108 out of 149 countries.

Second, 2019 All India Survey on Higher Education shows a significant lag in female participation at doctoral levels.

Third, women scientists often have to shoulder a disproportionate burden of academic housekeeping in comparison to their male counterparts.

How the issues can be solved?

A proper system of mentoring and availability of funds can be set up, especially for those women who want to get back into the workforce after a break.

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