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Women are under-represented in science and technology: VC

GRADUATION DAY: Thiruvalluvar University VC P. Gunasekaran presenting a certificate to a student ofTheivanai Ammal College, Villupuram  

Though efforts have been made to give women greater access to education they are still grossly under-represented in degree programmes in the science and technology sector, said P. Gunasekaran, Vice-Chancellor of Thiruvalluvar University.

He was delivering a speech at the 14th Graduation Day of Theivanai Ammal College for Women here recently. Mr. Gunasekaran said that women were poorly represented in most government departments of science and technology.

Women constituted less than 20 per cent of the faculties of research institutes and universities and less than four per cent women had become fellows in science subjects. Very few of them were in selection committees and so far there was not a single woman Bhatnagar awardee in the country.

The Vice-Chancellor noted that even in the Indian Institute of Science women’s enrolment was just 14 -17 per cent and in the IITs it was only 10 per cent.

This was not because women were incapable of handling the rigours of scientific study but because of the existing social prejudices that discouraged them from taking to science. Mr Gunasekaran attributed such a state of affairs to prejudiced mindsets, the burden of family roles on women and gender biased administration.

These factors reduced the women scientists and technologists to a minority status in their work places.

Women had less access to resources such as property, finance, technology and education that were otherwise needed to support their active engagement in science, technology and innovation.

Despite such a drawback Mr. Gunasekaran struck a positive note by stating that if requisite opportunities were given to women, they could emerge as real achievers in the field of science and technology, and give necessary thrust to the growth of the country.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 7:00:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/women-are-underrepresented-in-science-and-technology/article6291027.ece

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