Minister calls for efforts for gender equality in research

Ljubljana/Postojna, 11 February - Efforts to ensure equal rights and opportunities for both men and women in research and innovation should be made on the national, European and global levels, said Education, Science and Sport Minister Simona Kustec on Friday, International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

She stressed the role that Slovenian female researchers play in research and development.

Slovenia has committed in its strategic documents concerning science that it will eliminate legislative and other obstacles for women, create equal career opportunities for both genders, and improve gender equality in decision-making and in research programmes and projects, Kustec said during a government visit to the Primorsko-Notranjska region.

Statistical data for Slovenia show that the number of women included in tertiary education has been rising persistently and the share of women in post-graduate studies is higher than that of men. This could create an impression that women have the same opportunities in science as men. But the share of women who actually get a job in science is lower and the share of women in leading positions remains particularly low, Kustec warned.

Data from the European datebase Horizon Dashboard show positive trends though, as Slovenian women researchers more frequently coordinating research projects than is the average in the Horizon 2020 programme, she noted.

Slovenia has paid special attention to gender equality in research during its EU presidency in the second half of last year as well and initiated the adoption of the Ljubljana declaration on gender equality in research and innovation.

The declaration, which was strongly supported by EU countries and the European Commission, is a step towards institutionalised and systematic improving of the role and status of women in research in the EU, the minister believes.

Kustec also visited the ZRC SAZU Karst Research Institute in Postojna today and met women researchers there.