Women confront obstacles to practice science and technology
Women represent almost half of the students at any grade, but when graduation comes and they start to join the work force, the percentage decreases. Aiming to establish synergies to compel and evaluate public policy regarding the wellbeing of women and the country's population, the event "A look into Science, Technology and Innovation with Gender View: Towards a design of public policy" was conducted by the Scientific and Technological Consultative Forum.
Regarding gender, public policy has to create more visible programs to achieve equity. Women are not reflected in scientific work; for example, this year, only 34% of the members of the National System of Research (SNI) were women, and at Level III only 20%.
Adriana Ortiz-Ortega, academic adviser of the general secretary at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and head professor at the Center of Studies of Public Administration of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, says that gender perspective is nonexistent at universities.
For Ortiz-Ortga, to discuss gender in public policy opens a window of possibilities for both men and women; women are not encouraged to enter STI fields, but the whole society would benefit from overcoming this gender stereotype.
She says that gender should be seen as an area of study; the detection of specific mechanisms of inequality can occur when women enter the STI field.
Mexico has had a public policy with a gender perspective for 15 years; however, as long as it is not recognized as a subdiscipline, students will lack a basis of social organization.
Miniskirts and the pill
Julieta Fierro recalls that she grew up in the middle of the feminist revolution, when women could wear miniskirts and obtain birth control pills.
"We women failed when we started working outside of the home and allowed the salaries to be so low. Something that weakens women is the lack of education, and now we are proposing to upload a knowledge network in Spanish so women can study whatever and whenever they want."
The astronomer acknowledges that currently there are a lot of female science students, in comparison to when she studied and was the only woman in several courses.
"After the failure of my generation, it currently seems that women are fatigued and lack the time to study; I don't know if what we are doing now will work. What is a reality now is that women study science and assume their sexuality."