Step 2 Part 2 Fact Sheet 20: inequality in science and education

Inequality in Science and Education

One of the reasons why women’s health is less investigated is the predominance of men in science. Only recently it was not considered appropriate for girls to take up studies like engineering, microbiology or maths. And when they did, they were seen as very strange.

Ass Angela Saini, a well-known English science journalist writes: “If you were the geek growing up, you’ll recognize how lonely it can be. If you were the female geek, you’ll know it’s far lonelier. By time I reached sixth form, I was the only girl in my chemistry class of eight students. I was the only girl in my mathematics class of about a dozen. And when I decided to study engineering a couple of years later, I found myself the only woman in a class of nine at university.” (Saini 2017, p 1-2) 

UNESCO estimated that in 2013, just a little more than a quarter of all researchers in the world were women.

Women are underrepresented in modern science because, for most of history, they have been treated as intellectual inferiors. But this is not the only difficulty women have to overcome. There is always the care of children and the household tasks that burden women more than men.

And there is a difference in fields that male and female students choose to study: