Gender Equality in Science and Technology in Brazil: Successes and Remaining Challenges

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 8:30 AM
Room: Booth 44
Oral Presentation
Alice ABREU , Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Joice Melo VIEIRA , Núcleo de Estudos de População NEPO, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil
Maria Coleta OLIVEIRA , Núcleo de Estudos de População NEPO, Universidade Estadual de Campinas UNICAMP, Campinas, Brazil
Glaucia dos Santos MARCONDES , Universidade Estadual de Campinas UNICAMP, Campinas, Brazil
The paper will discuss the policies, factors and actors in the Brazilian national STI systems which affect the participation of women and girls, using the framework on Gender Equality and the Knowledge Society. In the last decades, Brazil has advanced considerably towards addressing social issues and reducing social inequalities, although there are still many problems to be dealt with. With a steady economic growth and contained inflation since 1994, Brazil has managed to uplift 35% of its poorest inhabitants out of poverty and has vastly increased its middle class. It is also today an urban country, with 85% of its population living in urban areas, 30% in metropolitan areas. Brazil is today a thriving democracy, with free universal elections for president every four years and an active congress, both at the lower house and the Senate. Women economic, political and social rights are guaranteed by the 1988 Constitution, which ensures complete legal equality between men and women in public and private life. So Brazil stands out well in the majority of the indicators, including education, where women are the majority of graduates at all levels. Brazil is today one of the few countries in the world where women are the majority of PhD graduates, the result of a steady effort of capacity building in the last sixty years. However, when you look at the higher decision making positions of the STI systems, women are still few in number. The paper will make an attempt to understand why this is so and what are the steps needed to have women participating fully in the Brazilian knowledge society