The global development challenges we face are well known: poverty, lack of institutional capacity, environmental degradation, climate change and increasingly natural disasters, infectious disease, malnutrition, and gender inequality. Policy and other decision makers need to weigh difficult trade-offs at every step, and innovation is critical to countries’ ability to adapt to changing circumstances and contribute to the global knowledge bank.
Yet, in many countries only half of the best ideas are heard – or even voiced. Worldwide, women are poorly represented at decision-making and management levels in the Science, Innovation, Technology and Energy (SITE) sector. Studies over the last 20 years show that women and men are affected differently when SITE is applied to development. Applying a gender lens takes into account the vision, concerns and abilities of both women and men – and makes them more effective, often yield longer term solutions. GenderInSITE is an international initiative which applies a gender lens to science, innovation, technology and engineering for development. It promotes the role of women in SITE and increases the number of policies and programs globally that take gender into account.
The Elsevier Foundation has been a long-time advisor and supporter of GenderInSITE, most recently providing a $40,000 grant for two thematic workshops in 2017: one addressing Latin America, exploring how a gender perspective in science education is indispensable to a sustainable development and the second in the South African region focusing on Gender and Innovation.
• Enable policy makers to meet with scientists, researchers and other stakeholders to share ideas for applying a gender and science lens to specific SDGs in a local and regional context.
• Develop and disseminate recommendations on the workshop findings to target key stakeholders.