European Platform of Women Scientists launched

A European platform bringing together women scientists’ organisations around Europe is set to counter the current under representation of women in science and to make their voice heard at EU political level.

A European Platform of Women Scientists (EPWS), launched on 28 March 2006, seeks to empower and encourage women scientists to participate in the EU research policy debate and to enhance their careers in science.

“A strategic instrument like the European Platform of Women Scientists is needed to counter the still significant under representation of women in science,” said Dr. Adelheid Ehmke, the President of EPWS.  Accordingly, the platform aims to promote the understanding and the inclusion of the gender issue in EU research. It will consider, for example, salary differences in science, the level of positions that women are appointed to and women’s access to research funding. 

The platform is set to act as a structural link between women scientists and policy makers and to bring together and support existing national, regional and international networks of women scientists. Special emphasis is said to be given to promoting networking in particular in Central and Eastern Europe and in the private sector.

The role of women scientists’ networks in ensuring better integration of the gender dimension in the research policy was highlighted back in 1999 in a Commission communication Women and science – Mobilising women to enrich European research.

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