Welcome to gender issues web page!
This web page was thought as a tool to empower women of the Nanofun-Poly Network. Here you’ll find information about women in science, an update on the gender office activities, a statistical monitoring of the women’s participation to the network, news and events, and links to the European Platform of women in science and to other networks of women in science.
The page is provided of an interactive tool to communicate and discuss with the Gender Issues Office and with other women of the network.
Why gender issues?
1.It is scientifically demonstrated that, in terms of competence and capability of work, women and men might have different modalities but are on the same level. So if men have, almost, all the top positions this is due to cultural discrimination.
Gender issues as part of the Nanofun-Poly Network exist because, at a political level, it is recognized that men and women do not have the same chances, therefore between them there isn’t a situation of equality.
The first step to be taken is that the whole scientific community takes consciousness of the inequality among genders. Then we need to trigger a discussion process far behind generalizations and stereotypes in order to redefine gender relationships.
It is important for women to be conscious that part of the difficulties they encounter in their careers do not rely on individual characteristics but are of cultural matrix related to their sexual identity. Gender discrimination acts in a subtle and constant way lifelong and in every life aspect: as a result women feel the responsibility for discrimination. This means that often women are the first ones to recognize more talent to men and to legitimize that decision making, management and planning power is men’s stuff. Many women react to this state of things, they consider it a challenge: they fight for achievement, but their success costs twice in terms of effort and of private renounces compared to their male colleagues. It is absolutely true that capable and committed women can reach (almost) the same positions as men but they will pay a higher price and this is discrimination as well.
When gender policies are addressed only to women it is not the whole system to be under discussion, nor men nor the state of things so an extra effort and extra work is required to women. In this way women are charged of the responsibility of the gap. Nevertheless women spaces are fundamental to create a common consciousness and solidarity ties built by sharing the same problems and expectations. A woman who recognizes herself as a victim of discrimination feels like Cassandra: unable to produce a positive change. But building ties women, as a group, generate the power to involve their colleagues into a common discussion.
“Gender issues” represents a space for men and women to mark a common path toward understanding how gender discrimination is created and how to bridge the gap.
What can we concretely do?
Gender relationships are transversal and crossover every aspect of our lives, this is why in the last years the European Commission has started to encourage and to give a positive evaluation to gender policies even among projects not specifically addressed to women. In scientific research the European women started to act against gender discrimination in 1999 with the constitution of the Helsinki Group, they continued through the Sixth Framework Program with measures directed towards gender integration and nowadays with the European Platform of Women Scientists. Saying without doing anything only generates frustration; there is the need to act against discrimination. In this web page you will find a lot of tips, ideas, links and services to go over gender roadblocks.