Well, this is a broad topic to write upon but a crucial one. Not many people think, speak, write or educate others about this issue. Maybe, they do not feel the need to do so. Who knows what the possible reasons are! But someone has to write about this, speak about this, and educate people about this.
The answer to this ‘Question-based’ topic will be, Yes. We do see gender inequality in medicine and science and technology. We will be talking about India specifically.
There is a wide gender gap or biases in India, especially in departments like medicine and science and technology. In India, as of 1 April 2015, there were 39,388 (13.9%) women out of 2.82 lakh R&D personnel directly engaged in R&D activities.
According to the latest Research and Development Statistics at a Glance 2017–18 brought out by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, women participation in extramural R&D projects supported by various central S&T agencies has been 29% in 2014–15.
This is worrisome. Well, the question is why is there such a less percentage of women participation?
There are several reasons for this. In India, there is a lack of education and infrastructure. Due to COVID-19, there is a severe hit on medicine and science, and technology. There were cases of people being removed from their respected departments just because they could not afford it.
A famous example is that of Asha Workers. Asha Workers are working day and night tirelessly in this pandemic but unfortunately, they could not receive salary for more than 4 months.
They are protesting, but no one is listening. Those women suffered a lot. They are doing COVID tests, giving medicines, and not getting a single penny as salary, no holidays to look after themselves.
This does not stop with women. In India, LGBTQIA+ people have been targeted as well. There is no specific data related to this.
Still, in 2018, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) raised the hopes of many LGBTQIA+ scientists when it announced it would explore adding questions about sexual orientation and gender identity to its workforce surveys, starting with the 2021 National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG).
In India, there are cases of some cruel works against LGBTQIA+ people like they were not getting medicine in this COVID era, killing trans activist, what not! You see, there are gender biases in medicine, science & technology. Do you think that India is progressing?
We can see that fewer LGBTQIA+ people are working in medicine, and S&T but there is a need to increase the numbers. Unfortunately, we are not focusing on the real issue. We always have to look for possibilities and admire the fact that there should be gender equality.
That is how we can identify the role of gender. There are many ways to decide the role, but we must focus on the concerned area. Gender equality is something which we are talking about on social media by trending hashtags like #metoo.
Well, there is a factor of workplace assault too. You see, some countries are taking precious steps to appreciate and accept the topics related to gender.
Scotland was the first country to declare free sanitary pads for women, which is the first step in health and medicine. There should be practical ways in India too. How well we can achieve gender equality and give a new or fresh identification to the role of gender in medicine and science & technology!