Women have made important contributions in all walks of life and made inroads into new fields like engineering and information technology.But the fact remains unchanged that women choose to enrol in greater proportions in arts, human studies and social sciences than they do in mathematics, science and technology, the world over. The origin of this under representation of women has been largely structural, created in and through the social structures of institutions and the segmentation of the labour market, and internalised in values and beliefs about appropriate roles and expectations. These factors are manifested in a host of barriers to women's participation, both general and specific to the technological domain. Over the years though the improvement has been taking place but the pace is slow and gradual. The current study focuses on what, how, why factors related to women both from general and minority background entry in S&T environment.
- To assess the level of participation of women both general and minority in science and technology.
- To explore the role the women in advancing science and technology.
- To understand how science and technology has impacted the women.
- To find out the barriers which affected the role of women in science and technology or hurdles which, affected the participation of women in science and technology.
- Every group has a leader and a secretary to note important problems what we will ask for help from nonprofits organization or NGOs.
- To compare the women and S &T with relation to the women status in terms of category.-general and minority.
The locale of the study is Delhi. The sample of the study consisted of 150 woman scientists working in eight organizations namely DST, DBT, MAMC, JNU, IARI, NBPGR, CSIR and TERI of Delhi .Out of these 150 woman scientists, 31 falls in the category of minority, which is 20.6% of the total sample size. However considering the lower representation of minority category women, the general women provided their opinion about minority. Therefore we could able to achieve the perspective of minority women.
Keeping in mind the nature of the problem, In-depth Interviews and observation method were used. Beside this, emailing of questionnaire was also done. Random sampling method was used in selection of interviewee. The selection of the scientists also depended on their availability and devotion of time.
Women & Education
- The need and importance of girl child is recognized and accepted by almost all the respondents of the study.
- Regarding the girl’s education in specific to presence in science education, it has been resulted that girls decides about the science in planned manner according to the 69% respondents while only 8% think that it is unplanned among the general community. 50% respondents expressed that motivation play important role in deciding about the science. In case of minority community, motivation is important factor for deciding about the science education as 44% respondents thinks motivation works more than planning of either of parents or girl child. Regarding the motivation, self, parents and teachers play an important role in both general and minority community.
- While collecting the information on reason of selecting the science as a career, it was found that motivation of parents, social prestige and high income is common motivational factors in both the general and minority community. According to the both community, media has no specific role to play.
- In case of reasons of not selecting the science as a career, it was found that SCIENCE is considered as TOUGH subject according to the both community which demotivate them for not selecting science. While community influence in case of minority community and lack of opportunities and poor conditions are major hurdles.
Participation of Women
- With regard to participation of women workforce at the scientific post level in the sampled eight scientific organizations, NBPGR, DBT and MAMC has highest rate i.e. 40.50%, 43.13% and 33.33%. This reflects that over the years the participation of women in S&T is in increasing mode but still underrepresented in the decision making role.
Women Contribution in S&T
- The results of the study showed that women community had access to opportunities for innovation, new experiment, decision making, playing the leading role and participating in seminar and workshops without having any gender biasness.
- Regarding the hurdles in accessing these opportunities, discrimination, male dominance and lack of women friendly policy were the major factors identified.
- The contribution of women scientist is considered in form of publishing papers, innovations and experiments. The results show that they are active and participate in publishing paper then experiments and finally innovations. The quality of papers in terms of its impact was not analyzed in the study due to non-availability of papers.
- The least contribution is in policy making as they are underrepresented in policy making related posts and popularizing S&T due to manifold responsibilities at home and workplace. In addition, they do not possess leading role in the institutions though there are opportunities of decision making and playing the leading roles.
- It has found that there are innovations and experiments done by the women scientists but the data are missing regarding the number of experiments and innovations who has directly impacted the women masses. However, there are few examples like solar cooker and solar lamps are there which has directly impacted the life of women community.
Women Empowerment and S&T
- The study assessed the women empowerment issue in terms of prestige of women within family and society, enhancement of income and self-esteem. According to the 76% respondents from the general community and 46% respondents from the minority community there is increase in social prestige. Such results show that society has started to realize and recognize the presence and their contributions in the society.
- The records on such recognition in the form of visible recognition like awards when studied then the results are not impressive.
- Regarding the prestige within family, 72% respondents of general community and 42% from minority community confirmed that there is increase prestige within family.
- It has been revealed by the 51% respondents that their income level is increased but in case of minority it is further low. It was only 35% respondents who confirmed that there is increase in income.
- Finally, the results were better. In case of self-esteem issue. 70% respondents from the general community think that self-esteem has been enhanced among women scientist while the 53% responses of in case of minority community confirmed such facts.
The barriers or hurdles which objects women scientist to perform their roles and responsibilities as a scientists are categorized in four major categories i.e. Family, Society, Working Organizations and Govt. policies and programmes. These findings are briefed in following manner:
Govt. Policies & Programmes
In general, there were mixed responses on acknowledgment about the importance of government role in promotion of S&T. The specific findings are as follows:
The recommendations of the study are categorized in two major sections i.e. general and specific. The specific recommendations are according to the issues envisaged and identified during course of the study. The details are given below: