Key Governmental, Agency, and Institutional Policies related to Sex and Gender Research
Below are important policy developments in the European Union (EU), United Kingdom (UK), United Nations (UN), Spain (ES), and United States (US).
- US: Women's Health Movement. Local and national groups began drawing attention to how the US health care system failed women. These included the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, the National Women's Health Network, and later the National Black Women's Health Project and consumer lobbies for the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. Activists in these groups questioned male control of the health professions, encouraged women to enroll in medical schools, challenged sexism in traditional medical curricula, and fought to license midwives and to improve women's knowledge of their bodies.
- UK: Women's Health Movement. Activists began challenging the longstanding medical stereotype of women as "sickly creatures" and sought to increase women's control over their own bodies through access to contraception and other reproductive technologies.
- US: Equal Pay Act. The US Federal Employment Opportunity Commission required that "men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work."
- US: Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Act broadly prohibited employers and labor unions from discriminating on the basis of sex in hiring, compensation, training, promotion, or representation. Employment practices intended to discriminate were also prohibited, even if the discriminatory elements were not explicit. This Act was ammended in 1972 to prohibit discrimination in education and in 1978 to prohibit pregnancy discrimination.
- US: Affirmative Action Applied to Women. Lyndon B. Johnson’s Executive Order 11375 amended Executive Order 11246 to require that certain federal contractors “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex or national origin.”
- US: Equal Employment Opportunity Act. This Act amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and prohibited discrimination in hiring and promotion on the grounds of an employee or perspective employee's sex, race, color, religion, or national origin. Religious institutions, employers with fewer than fifteen employees, and certain Federally- and Native American-owned enterprises were exempt.
- US: Title IX of the Education Act Amendments. Lawmakers recognized that sex discrimination in education limited women's equality in the workforce even when employers were prohibited from engaging in such discrimination. Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in all programs of all educational institutions, public and private, which receive federal funding.
- EU: European Council Equal Pay Directive. The European Council required Member States to eliminate “all discrimination on grounds of sex with regard to all aspects and conditions of remuneration.” The Directive gave rise to legal, regulatory, and administrative means of ensuring equal pay for equal work.
- EU: European Council Equal Treatment Directive. This Directive required EU Member States to establish the equal treatment of women and men "in regards to access to employment and vocational training and promotion and as regards working conditions.” In 2002, this Directive was revised to include a formal ban against sexual harassment.
- US: First Meeting of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues. This bipartisan Caucus has worked to address pregnancy discrimination, child support enforcement, and the inclusion of women in clinical trials. Most recently, it has developed legislation to increase women's and minorities' representation in science and engineering disciplines.
- EU: European Council Equal Treatment on Social Security Directive. This Directive required Member States to implement the “principle of equal treatment in matters of social security” including “statutory schemes which provide protection against the risks of sickness, invalidity, old age, accidents at work, occupational diseases and unemployment, and in social assistance in so far as it is intended to supplement or replace the abovementioned schemes.”
- US: Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Congress ammended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to define pregnancy discrimination as sex discrimination per se, and prohibited discrimination against pregnant women in hiring decisions, compensation, and insurance coverage.
- US: Equal Opportunity in Science and Engineering Act. This Act directs the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in medicine, science, and engineering. Funding has been set aside to achieve these ends.
- US: Report on Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. The NSF published the first congressionally-mandated report on diversity in science and engineering fields. Persons with disabilities were added in 1984. This report revealed that women, and African-American men, were significantly underrepresented in technical fields.
- US: NSF Establishes Visiting Professorships for Women (VPW). The NSF begins awarding professorships to qualitied women in the sciences and engineering. Over 350 women scientists have recieved professorships in support of their travel, research expenditures, and salary.
- US: Report of the Public Health Task Force on Women's Health Issues. The NIH called national attention to women's health with this report, which addressed sex disparities in research as well as social factors relevant to women's health.
- US: NSF Establishes Career Advancement Awards (CAAs). The NSF targeted junior women scientists for these awards, which often came at critical transition times in their careers. CAAs provided funding of up to $175,000 over two years.
- US: Women's Health Equity Act (WHEA). The WHEA called for establishing a permanent office of women and health under the Assistant Secretary of Health, charged with overseeing the inclusion of women in research studies and supporting research into diseases affecting women. Though never passed, the WHEA contained several provisions which were incorporated into other successful bills. Most importantly, the WHEA increased awareness that excluding women from clinical trials, once seen as a form of "protectionism," was a long-term threat to equality in medical research.
- US: Report on Problems in Implementing Policy on Women in Study Populations. This report, published by the General Accounting Office (GAO, changed to General Accountability Office in 2004), found that "the NIH has not adequately implemented its policy" to encourage the inclusion of women in clinical studies. Investigators discovered inconsistent and generally weak enforcement of NIH policies, particularly in terms of grant evaluation, and raised concerns that the NIH had no effective plans to monitor its own progress. Recommendations for improvement were implemented.
- US: Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) Founded. The ORWH was established with two mandates. First, it was to increase the number of women involved in health research. Second, it was charged with reconceptualizing medical research to include subjects of both sexes in support of analysis of sex differences. Importantly, the concept of women's health expanded beyond a narow focus on disorders associated with the female reproductive system to encompass other diseases that create significant burdens in women's lives.
- US: Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act. This Act established a National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, Medicaid coverage was expanded to include funding for mammograms and Pap smears.
- US: NIH Establishes Faculty Awards for Women (FAW). Previous NSF programs supported women and minority scientists in the earlier stages of their careers, but FAW was the first program to specifically address the lack of women in senior positions. FAW supported faculty research projects with grants up to $250,000 over five years, and was highly effective at helping recipients achieve tenure.
US: Women's Health Initiative. The NIH established this initiative "to address the most common causes of death, disability and impaired quality of life in postmenopausal women." In accordance with the Initiative, the NIH supported research into prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases including osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and various cancers.
- EU: European Council Directive on Maternity Leave and Health and Safety Conditions for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers. The Council set out policies that Member States must adopt to ensure the health and safety of workers who are pregnant, have recently given birth, or are breastfeeding. Member States are required to make maternity leave compulsory for at least two weeks (that is, to prohibit people from working within 2 weeks of having given birth) and to ensure workers’ rights to maternity leave of at least 14 continuous weeks. Member States are also required to ensure that persons on maternity leave receive an “adequate allowance,” at minimum equivalent to the allowance that would be provided if the worker in question were unable to work due to injury. Finally, Member States are required to prohibit termination on the grounds of pregnancy and related conditions, to prohibit work practices which would expose pregnant or breastfeeding workers to unsafe conditions, and to prohibit compulsory night work for pregnant women and those having recently given birth.
- US: Mammography Quality Standards Act. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established a system of certification for all mammography facilities, excluding those operated in association with Veteran's Affairs (VA) hospitals. All covered facilities were required to adhere to standards regarding interpretation of mammograms and minimization of patient's radiation dosages.
- US: Report on Women in Prescription Drug Testing. The GAO issued a Congressional report finding that the FDA failed to ensure that women were included in clinical drug trials. In most cases, the proportion of women amongst clinical trial subjects for a particular drug was substantially smaller than the proportion of women amongst the population of prospective patients. The FDA also failed to require analysis of sex differences in drug response.
- US: NIH Health Revitalization Act . (Public Law 103-43, Subtitle B, Clinical Research Equity Regarding Women and Minorities) Congress required that NIH grantees include women and minority groups in human subjects research and, for clinical trials, "ensure that the trial is designed and carried out in a manner sufficient to provide for a valid analysis of whether the variables being studied in the trial affect women or members of minority groups, as the case may be, differently than other subjects in the trial." Cost was not allowed as an acceptable reason for exclusion. However, the law applied only to clinical trials, leaving women and minorities out of the discovery phases. (Guidelines for the inclusion of women in federally-funded research had been in place at NIH since 1986 but not enforced). Significant exceptions to the Act include studies in which the participation of women and minorities would be "inappropriate with respect to the health of subjects" or "with respect to the purpose of the research" or under "such circumstances as the Director of NIH may designate." The NIH implemented policies in compliance with the act in 1994 (see below).
- US: Guidelines for Study of Gender Differences in Clinical Evaluation of Drugs. The FDA publishes new guidelines that reverse its 1977 guidelines barring women of childbearing potential from participating in clinical research (including phase I and II studies). The guidelines also require analysis of data on sex differences. Further, the FDA encourages the study of drug interactions with 1) menstrual cycles, 2) exogenous hormone therapy, and 3) oral contraceptives, when feasible.
- UK: Sixth Report of the Science and Technology Committee. The House of Commons found that women were the "single most undervalued and therefore underused resource" in science and technology. A Department of Trade and Industry was established and charged with addressing this problem.
- US: Guidelines on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research. The NIH requires grantees to include women and minorities in human subjects research. These guidelines are a strong interpretation of the 1993 Revitalization Act (see above).
- US: Report on Women in Biomedical Careers. This ORWH report investigated the obstacles women face in advancing biomedical careers, from a lack of female role models to the unequal burden of childcare they often shoulder. It includes strategies to help recruiters attract qualified women to biomedical positions.
- US: Recruitment and Retention of Women in Clinical Studies. The ORWH and Department of Health and Human Services addressed how medical research could meet the requirements of the NIH Revitalization Act and examined the challenges to including and retaining women in clinical studies. Solutions involving institutional reform, study redesign, and community-level involvement were put forward.
- European Council Action Programme on the Equal Opportunities for Women and Men. The European Council promoted gender mainstreaming through the “integration of equal opportunities in the process of preparing, implementing, and monitoring all policies, measures, and activities at Community, national, regional and local” levels. The Action Programme supports goals including gender equality, work-life balance, and economic competitiveness.
- UN: The United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women. The UN established a Platform for Action which includes provisions for “mainstreaming a gender perspective in all policies and programmes so that before decisions are taken, an analysis is made of the effects on women and men, respectively.” The Platform supports government actions to increase women’s participation in leadership within public and private organizations and to combat discrimination within government-funded organizations.
- EU: Incorporation of Equal Opportunities into European Community Policies Act. The EU set out "the principle that the gender perspective should systematically be taken into account in all Community policies and actions." Gender mainstreaming was addressed in terms of policies on employment, education, training, and economic development.
- CA: Health Canada (the equivalent of "Ministry of Health") includes Women in Clinical Trials.
- US: Report on Mammography Inspections. The GAO found that the FDA's monitoring of the more than 10,000 US mammography facilities, mandated according to the 1992 Mammography Quality Standards Act, had significantly reduced the incidence of irresponsible practices. However, the GAO noted that the FDA needed to develop more consistent test protocols, keep better records to identify facilities which are "repeat offenders," and act more promptly to shut down poor-quality facilities.
- EU: Council of Europe Defines Gender Mainstreaming. The European Council defined gender mainstreaming as "the (re)organisation, improvement, development and evaluation of policy processes, so that a gender equality perspective is incorporated in all policies, at all levels and at all stages, by the actors normally involved in policymaking." The Council further identified best practices for gender mainstreaming.
- EU: European Technology Assessment Network (ETAN) Founded. The European Commission establishes ETAN as a working group of female scientists and is assigned the tasks of collecting national-level data on women in science, and proposing recommendations to address gender in research and the balancing of scientific careers and family life.
- EU: Progress Report on Equal Opportunities Published. The European Commission reviewed advances in gender mainstreaming and identified strategies for further progress, including routine gender impact assessments of all policies, increasing financial and human resources in gender expertise, and monitoring of policies and outcomes to reduce disparities.
- US: Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering, and Technology Development Act. Congress established a commission to study the underrepresentation of women, minorities, and people with disabilities in technical fields. The commission was to provide corrective recommendations to government, industry, and academia.
- EU: Amsterdam Treaty. First drafted in 1997, this treaty requires all EU member states to take concrete action against "discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, or sexual orientation" and makes gender mainstreaming a legal requirement.
- US: Study on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This study found that improving parental leave programs and adjusting the "tenure clock" can reduce bias against female professors in the sciences-particularly, against female professors with children.
- EU: Women and Science Action Plan. The Helsinki Group on Women in Science is established with a directive to "bring together networks of women scientists and organisations committed to gender equality in scientific research" and monitor women's participation in the sciences throughout the EU.
- EU: European Commission Report on Mobilising Women to Enrich European Research. The European Commission commits to integrating women into publically funded European research programmes and set an overall target of 40 percent representation of women throughout the Framework Programme 5 (FP5).
- EU: European Council Resolution on Women and Science. EU Member States are asked to collect internationally-comparable data on women in science and technology.
- EU: ETAN Report on Science Policies in the European Union: Promoting Excellence through Mainstreaming Gender Equality. Scientists from ten different Member States make a key recommendation to mainstream gender into the Sixth Framework Programme and into Member State institutions and programs that fund science and technology research.
- US: NIH Has Increased Its Efforts to Include Women in Research. The GAO reports that the NIH had improved representation of women as research subjects, and cites the ORWH's involvement as key to this achievement. GAO reports, however, that less progress has been made in data analysis of sex differences that might reveal whether interventions affect women and men differently.
- EU: Parliament Resolution Based on the Report "Women and Science: Mobilising Women to Enrich European Research." The European Parliament adopts the European Commissions' plans, as set out in the quoted document, to mainstream gender into the Fifth Framework Programme.
- US: Institute of Medicine (IOM) Consensus Report, Exploring the Biological Contributions to Human Health: Does Sex Matter? This consensus report described observed sex differences in human health and promoted research into the cellular basis of observed sex differences. In addition, the Report underscores the need for clear distinctions between sex and gender, and for research to consider factors intersecting with sex and gender in clinical and epidemiological studies.
- US: First Round of Funding for the NSF ADVANCE Program. The NSF begins providing funding to institutions to support transformations that reduce gender bias.
- US: GAO Reports Most Drugs Withdrawn in Recent Years Had Greater Health Risks for Women. By analyzing FDA data, the GAO finds that 5 of 10 prescription drugs withdrawn between 1997 and 2000 were more likely to cause adverse effects in female users than male users. It also raises the concern that certain over-the-counter drugs may be more dangerous for women.
- US: GAO Reports Women Sufficiently Represented in New Drug Testing, but FDA Oversight Needs Improvement. The GAO determined that, although women were well-represented overall in drug trials, they were underrepresented in early-stage testing. GAO concluded that the FDA has not effectively overseen the analysis of data related to sex differences in drug development.
- US: NIH Amends Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research. The NIH strengthened its mandate by broadening the definition of "patient-oriented research" to include epidemiological and behavioral studies, and began requiring all grantees to develop research plans allowing sex and race / ethnicity differences to be detected.
- US: Report on Gender Differences in the Career Outcomes of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers. The National Academies released a report addressing women's underrepresentation in academia in light of Title IX. This report articulates the "leaky pipeline" problem: women are less likely than men to advance in scientific careers at critical points, such as the transition between completing a Ph.D. and entering the full-time labor force.
- EU: European Council Establishes a Framework Strategy on Gender Equality. This Framework Strategy supports coherence between different Member States with regards to actions designed to promote gender equality.
- EU: European Council Resolution on Science and Society and Women in Science. The resolution asks the European Commission to "ensure effective mainstreaming of the gender dimensions when implementing the Sixth Framework Programme."
- EU: Women and Science Unit Founded. The Women and Science Unit formed to coordinate the collection of comparable statistics on women in science in all EU Member States. The resulting data have been used to address gender issues in research funding, measurements of productivity, etc.
- EU: Sythesis Report for Gender in Research-Gender Impact Assessment of the specific programmes of the Fifth Framework. The report describe the weak integration of gender into each Work Programme of the Fifth Framework Programme and proposes recommendations for a better integration of gender in future European research.
- EU: High Level STRATA-ETAN Expert Group. The European Commission asks academics, gender experts, industrialists, and human resource representatives from international companies with significant research departments to form a working group; The group's task is to analyze women researchers in the private sector.
- EU: Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The EU ammended its ethical research principles to include increasing the roles of women in research. Under FP6, the EU gave special consideration to projects that increased public awareness of women in science or female students' exposure to research. These requirements were described in greater detail in a 2003 Vademcum.
EU: Enlarge Women in Science to the East (ENWISE) Expert Group. The European Commission enlarged its 1998 ETAN group to include experts on the status of women in science in Central and Eastern European Countries, the Baltic States, the new Eastern states of Germany, and the Balkan Region. This group carried out research in support of the EU's Science and Society Action Plan to "promote gender equality in science in the wider Europe."
- EU: Helsinki Group Report on National Policies on Women and Science in Europe. This report describes national policies on women in science in 30 EU countries and provides a statistical profile of the status of women in science in each country.
- EU: Vademecum on Gender Mainstreaming in the 6th Framework Programme. This document offered a blueprint for how to design sex and gender analysis into basic research. Its intended audience was scientific project officers. The EU required that grantees address "whether, and in what sense, sex and gender are relevant in the objectives and the methodology of the project." This requirement was scaled back in FP7 because researchers lacked an understanding of how to do sex and gender analysis.
- EU: She Figures. A major European Union publication presenting EU-wide data on women in science, starting from tertiary education through to employment. More recent figures were published in 2006 and 2009.
- EU: STRATA-ETAN Report on Women in Industrial Research: A Wake-Up Call for European Industry. The report provides nation-specific data and identifies innovative policies adopted by industry to increase the participation of women in industrial research in the private sector.
- US: GAO Reports Women's Participation in the Sciences Has Increased, But Agencies Need to Do More to Ensure Compliance with Title IX. The GAO found that women earned a growing proportion of science degrees from 1966 to 2004, and that women cluster in the biological sciences. The Department of Energy, the NSF, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) were found to have inadequately implemented Title IX by failing to properly investigate discrimination complaints against grantees.
- EU: Gender Action Plans Compendium of Good Practices. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to researchers on how to design a Gender Action Plan for Integrated Project (IP) or Network of Excellence (NoE) research proposals by highlighting case studies submitted under the 7 thematic areas of the Sixth Framework Programme.
EU: ENWISE Report Waste of Talents: Turning Private Struggles into a Public Issue. This report profiles policies that can improve the status of women and boost national research and development in Eastern European countries.
- EU: European Commission Report on Excellence and Innovation—Gender Equality in Science. The report describes the progress made toward achieving gender equality in science in each European nation and establishes targets for future recruitment of female scientists and engineers.
EU: European Medicines Agency/ICH Gender Considerations in the Conduct of Clinical Trials. The report reviews references to gender in the existing International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) guidelines. These guidelines will be revised in 2012.
- US: National Academies Report on Women Students and Faculty in U.S. Science and Engineering. This report articulated strategies that can be used to recruit and retain women in scientific fields as students, academic researchers, and executives. Strategies include outreach at the K-12 level, dedicated resources for female science students, curricula which emphasize practical and positive applications of scientific knowledge, and mentoring and networking programs.
EU: European Commission Establishes a “Roadmap for Equality between Women and Men.” This Roadmap describes priority areas in which EU policy must promote gender equality, including economic independence, work-life balance, and representation in decision-making. The Roadmap also supports efforts to eliminate gender-based stereotypes and violence, and describes strategies for achieving these ends.
- EU: European Medicines Agency Reflection Paper on Gender Differences in Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). The report reviews current regulations related to the representation of women and men in clinical research related to CVD and highlights the importance of attention to this topic in the development of new cardiovascular drugs.
- EU: European Parliament and Council Directive on Establishing a European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). The European Parliament and Council resolved to create an Institute for Gender Equality, which was charged with responsibilities including collecting sex-disaggregated data reflecting levels of equality between women and men, developing tools to eliminate gender discrimination, and increasing awareness of gender equality issues.
- EU: Women in Science and Technology (WiST) Expert Group Report on Women in Science and Technology: A Business Perspective. The report makes a business case to promote women in Science and Technology by documenting leading companies that are increasing their innovation, growth, and competitiveness by implementing the cultural changes needed to attract and retain women.
- US: National Academies Report on Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. The academies found that national competitiveness in science and engineering requires increasing the representation of women at all levels. Institutional reform, particularly in the operation of review and tenure boards, was identified as central to achieving this.
- EU: European Commission Study on the Remuneration of Researchers in the Public and Private Commercial Sector. The report documents the gender pay gap in the salaries of European scientific researchers and between European scientific researchers and those working in associated countries, such as the United States, Japan, China, India and Australia.
- US: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation establishes Gender Impact Strategy for Agricultural Grants. The Foundation mainstreams gender into the planning, execution, and evaluation of agricultural projects and requires potential grant recipients to meet with gender experts, who customize gender checklists to each project.
- EU: FP6 Mid-Term Assessment of Science and Society Activities. An evaluation of the 33 projects funded under the Sixth Framework Programme "women and science" programme.
- US: Heart Disease Education, Analysis Research, and Treatment (HEART) for Women Act. This congressional proposal, never enacted, would have compelled the FDA to report sex-disaggregated patient safety data for drugs and to investigate sex disparities in treatment for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Further, the act required the FDA to produce educational materials to counter the widespread belief that CVD is primarily a health problem for men; in reality, CVD is the number one killer of US women as well.
- US: NIH Funds Research on Causal Factors and Interventions that Promote and Support the Careers of Women in Biomedical and Behavioral Science and Engineering. This research project will examine factors affecting women's careers in technical fields, including "individual characteristics, family and economic circumstances, disciplinary culture or practices, and features of the broader social and cultural context." Specific programs designed to correct sex disparities will also be evaluated.
- EU: Council of Europe Committee of Ministers Promotes Gender Equality in Healthcare. The Committee declared its support for measures to improve healthcare for both women and men. Such measures include analysis of sex and gender differences in medical research and gender mainstreaming in health policy. The Committee recognized that women and men “are not homogeneous groups” and supported analysis of factors intersecting with sex and gender.
- EU: European Parliament Resolution on Women and Science. The European Parliament recommended that the Gender Action Plan should remain an integral part of the European research funding process.
EU: Women In Research Decision Making (WIRDEM) Expert Group. Mapping the Maze: Getting More Women to the Top in Research. The report reviews the procedures for evaluating and promoting research personnel to senior positions along with good practices for promoting women in scientific research at national and institutional levels.
EU: European Commission Report on Benchmarking Policy Measures for Gender Equality in Science. The report documents gender mainstreaming progress made at the national level since the Helsinki 2002 Report. Few countries have achieved the 2005 target levels for women's participation in science.
- CA: Canada’s federal Health Portfolio Gender and Sex Based Analysis (GSBA) Policy.
- US: National Academies Report on Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty. This report examines sex differences in hiring, granting of tenure, promotion, and research funding at academic institutions.
EU: Monitoring Progress Toward Gender Equality in the Sixth Framework Programme a Synthesis . The report summarizes how successfully gender was integrated into the thematic priorities of the Sixth Framework Programme. Although women's representation in research increased since 2001, most of this progress was made in less senior roles; a lack of work-life balance and stereotypically masculine workplace cultures were identified as major obstacles to gender equality. When gender in the research content was considered, biological differences tended to be explored without due regard to the socio-economic aspects which were often just as important.
EU: Negotiation Guidance Notes in The Seventh Framework Programme. The guidelines state that collaborative projects funded by the Seventh Framework Programme must "ensure an open and impartial selection procedure, as well as fair working conditions, to researchers recruited for work." However, gender mainstreaming of research was not specifically addressed.
EU: Toolkit for Integrating Gender into EU-Funded Research for the Seventh Framework Programme. Toolkits and training packages were designed to give the European scientific research community practical tools and guidelines to promote the integration of gender into FP7 research priorities.
EU: European Commission Report on the Gender Challenge in Research Funding—Assessing the European National Scenes. This report analyzes the role of key European funding organizations in promoting gender equality in research.
EU: European Commission Communication "Better Careers and More Mobility: A European Partnership for Researchers." The European Commission proposes actions to increase gender equality in science by improve working conditions for researchers.
- US: NIH Office of Research on Women’s Strategic Vision for 2020
- CA: Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Requires All Grant Applicants to Respond to Mandatory Questions about Sex and Gender in Research.
- EU: European Commission Establishes a Strategy for Equality between Women and Men for 2010-2015. The Strategy for Equality included measures to promote gender equality in economic independence, leadership, and other fields. It establishes measurable goals, such as 75% workforce participation for both women and men and at least 40% representation of each sex in European Commission expert groups.
- EU: European Commission Publishes a Charter on Strengthening Commitment to Equality between Women and Men . The Commission reaffirmed its “commitment to making equality between women and men a reality” by reinforcing the gender perspective in all EU policies and dedicating the necessary resources to achieve this goal.
- EU: Gender Mainstreaming Implemented as part of the Spanish Innovation Strategy. Spain's National Plan for Research and Technological Development now requires gender analysis in "all aspects of the [research] process: definition of priorities of scientific and technological research [...] theoretical and explanatory frameworks, methods, collection and interpretation of data, and findings." The legislation also requires collection of sex-disaggregated data and promotes sex-and race-blind assessment processes for researchers in order to combat discrimination.
- US: American College of Cardiology Requires Sex Analysis. The editorial board of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology amended its instructions to authors, requiring researchers to "provide gender-specific data, when appropriate, in describing outcomes of epidemiologic analyses or clinical trials" or "specifically state that no gender-based differences were present."
- US: American Heart Association Requires Sex Analysis. The editors of the journal Circulation added instructions requesting prospective sex analysis in published papers. These developments are significant as CVD research is one of the medical fields in which women have been most chronically underrepresented.
- UN: Resolutions on Gender Analysis in Scientific Education, Research, and Development. The United Nations member states resolved that "gender-based analysis and gender impact assessments" should be integrated into science and technology research and development, and that "a gender perspective" should be incorporated into all science and technology curricula.
- US: The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) included a requirement (Section 907) that FDA study the availability of data on the participation of demographic subgroups (sex, age, race, and ethnicity) in clinical trials that support applications for new drugs, biologics, and devices. An Action Plan is being developed.
- EU: European Research Area (ERA). “Gender equality” and “gender mainstreaming in research” become one of the ERA’s five priorities.
- EU: Horizon 2020—Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020). Article 15 of this important document ensures “the effective promotion of gender equality and the gender dimension in research and innovation content.”
- EU: Publication of Sex and Gender Aspects in Clinical Medicine.
- EU: Publication of Sex and Gender Differences in Pharmacology.
- US: Institute of Medicine publishes Sex-Specific Reporting of Scientific Research: A Workshop Summary.
- EU: Italians introduce a parliamentary bill to implement Gender Medicine nationally.
- EU: The Irish Research Council requires all applicants to full consider sex/gender analysis in research proposals.
- EU: The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm developed “Gender in Janus” reporting on sex-specific information for some 50 medications.
- EU: Publication of Fair Share Cities: The Impact of Gender Planning in Europe.
- US: Gates Foundation strengthens is Gender-Responsive Agricultural Development Programs.
- US/EU: The Gendered Innovations project presented at the European Parliament.
- US/EU: Publication of Gendered Innovations: How Gender Analysis Contributes to Research
- US: The American Physiological Society requires that the sex of cells and the sex and/or gender of
human subjects be reported in manuscript for publication.
- EU: Horizon 2020. Gender Equality in Research and Innovation. The European Commission reaffirms its commitment to integrating gender and sex analysis into research.
- US: The journal Clinical Orthopaedic and Related Research recommends that authors provide and analyze sex- and/or gender-speciﬁc data where relevant in all clinical, basic science, and epidemiological studies.
- US: National Institutes of Health (NIH) begins implementing policies requiring that female and male cells and animals are used in pre-clinical studies.
US: Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Drug Trials Snapshot reports information on sex, age, and race among participants in the clinical trials that support FDA approval for a particular drug.
EU: Gender Advisory Group advice paper published on preparing grants that integrate sex and gender analysis into research.
US: National Institutes of Health (NIH) releases guidelines for considering sex in preclinical research. NIH states that "accounting for sex as a biological variable begins with the development of research questions and study design. It also includes data collection and analysis of results, as well as reporting of findings. Consideration of sex may be critical to the interpretation, validation, and generalizability of research findings. Adequate consideration of both sexes in experiments and disaggregation of data by sex allows for sex-based comparisons and may inform clinical interventions. Appropriate analysis and transparent reporting of data by sex may therefore enhance the rigor and applicability of preclinical biomedical research."
CA: Sex and gender in Biomedical Research training rolled out by Canadian Institutes of Health.
EU: League of European Universities (LERU) advice paper on Gendered Research and Innovation released.