DFG President to participate in 20th Gender Summit – LAC

(07.09.21) From September 15 to 23, takes place the 20th Gender Summit – LAC: international event that will be held this year virtually. DFG President, Prof. Dr. Katja Becker, will participate in the opening of the summit, which debates the benefits of gender equality for the quality of scientific production. Organised by the British Council, CNPq and Portia, the Gender Summit creates an online platform to bring together educational and research institutions, governmental entities and multilateral organisations from many countries and brings in this edition an agenda focused on Latin America.

llustrative image of a woman researcher observing a microscope.

The importance of the participation of women to the quality of scientific production is evidenced by research and case studies.

© Agência Galo

As far as research funding institutions are concerned, the DFG has adopted a leading role in the German system on the importance of sex and gender diversity in basic research. In May 2020 the DFG senate issued a statement on developing new guidelines to encourage increased diversity in research and help eliminate blind spots, thereby increasing the scientific quality of results.

When thinking about gender diversity in research, it is not only about equality in the number of female and male researchers, but also in the subject matter that encompasses all genders. For example, research on the risks of osteoporosis in men has long been neglected, yet it is now known that about one-third of men are affected and require effective treatment. In addition, crash test dummies, modelled on female and male bodies, illustrate the individual injury risks for each sex and help prevent them. Issues such as these will also be addressed in the event’s programme.

In addition to the DFG, researchers from institutions such as USP, UnB, Fiocruz, UFRJ, UFMG, Unifesp and Unicamp in Brazil, and Oxford University and King’s College London in the UK, as well as universities, companies and civil society organisations from Argentina, Colombia, Chile, France, Mexico, Italy, Canada and the United States are confirmed. The Gender Summit will also include presentations by representatives from agencies such as UNESCO, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Bank.

Distinguished entrepreneurs and individuals from the corporate world have also been confirmed to make presentations at the Gender Summit, including Luiza Trajano, the businesswoman at the head of the Magazine Luiza group. The construction of diversity and social responsibility, and the role of women in digital transformation are some of the themes that will be addressed by panels, providing different perspectives on gender in areas such as entrepreneurship and innovation.

Inclusion in science: considering gender diversity

The importance of the participation of women to the quality of scientific production is evidenced by research and case studies that will be presented at the Gender Summit. Data that makes up the agenda of the summit reveals that, by welcoming sexual and gender diversity, science produces results that foster advances for society in all areas of knowledge, as well as solutions for different aspects of life on the planet.

The event will be presenting the most recent scientific discoveries, as well as the gaps that still exist, for an understanding of how biological (sexual) and socio-cultural (gender) characteristics, collectively recognised as the “dimension of gender”, differentiate research results and the quality of the results for women and men. Girls and women’s access to environments involved in the production of scientific knowledge is instrumental for innovations on behalf of society, according to data that will be discussed over the course of the programme of the 20th Gender Summit.

The Gender Summit will also be presenting an overview of the work being performed by women scientists in Latin America, demonstrating the progress being made in terms of representation, and establishing relations with scientific advances and discoveries. Through the lens of gender equality, data from different areas, such as climate sciences, engineering, biology and sustainability, for example, reveal the fundamental role of the work done by women.

A focus on sustainability

The importance of new technologies and scientific programmes in support of policies concerning preservation, bio-economics and strategies for the sustainable use of biodiversity in the different regions of Latin America is also one of the central issues for the Gender Summit agenda. The event will bring together female and male researchers who will be presenting studies on urgent issues, such as climate change, deforestation and the future of the Amazon.

The human interaction with land and marine biodiversity is one of the important issues that will be addressed by the panels, which include internationally recognised persons such as Carlos Afonso Nobre, from the National Institute of Space Research (INPE). He is one of the authors of the Fourth Assessment Report – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Illustrative image of a woman researcher holding a laboratory test tube.

Join us for the 20th Gender Summit – LAC!

© Agência Galo

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